I'm a city girl through and through, but from time to time, I do think about how nice it might be to have a small place in the country. Fresh air. Bucolic setting. A slower pace of life.
With this romantic notion in my head, I was intrigued by an old House & Garden article which featured the Irish country home of a Mr. and Mrs. Francis Guth. The Guths spent half of the year in Spain (how exotic) and half of the year at Ilecash, their County Cork Georgian house. Mr. Guth was (is?) a great gourmand whose specialty was Spanish food. (A gourmet for a husband sounds awfully nice.) And a quick glance at the photos showed me that they liked to picnic by the river. Sounds quaint. But then I started to read the text, and my idea that country living was relaxing was turned on its head!
Mr. Guth fished for salmon in the river that ran behind the house. Mr. Guth smoked his own salmon. The Guths took a belvedere that was attached to the house and converted it to a greenhouse where they grew cucumbers and tomatoes. If there was leftover salmon, Mrs. Guth canoed down the river to hand deliver it to her neighbors- and sometimes with a basket of mushrooms picked by the Guth daughter! And what about the Spanish buffet feast that was photographed for the article, a meal that was comprised of 19 tapas dishes? It only took Mr. Guth four hours to make.
Whew! Maybe country living isn't quite as relaxing as I once thought.
A picnic that included Mr. Guth's smoked salmon and Spanish style omelettes.
A view of Ilecash. The green house is to the left of the house.
The Guths' rather extensive vegetable garden.
Mr. Guth with his catch.
The catch that is ready to be smoked.
And a riparian picnic with what else? Mr. Guth's smoked salmon.
A "conversation food" buffet with Mr. Guth's tapas. The porcelain that you see on the table and in the hutch was made by Mrs. Guth.
A Sherry party in the kitchen.
All photos from House & Garden, February 1971.