Hi and welcome to WildFoodMary.com!

Mary Bulfin - Forager

Photo by Harry Weir for Food and Wine magazine

Mary Bulfin,I am a forager, chef, and lover of all good food nature has to offer. I collect wild foods, use them fresh and also preserve, make all kinds of treats from delicious elderflower delight to relishes, dried mushrooms, and wonderful liqueurs.

I also give guided foraging walks and workshops to small groups throughout the year. Limited places are available so  book early.

If you fancy going out to forage yourself, check out my what’s in season now page for tips.

Some of you have asked for recipes recently and I am very happy to answer requests and swap ideas.

Also, please feel free to send me photos of species you want identified!

I can be contacted on my mobile at 087 7418536, or by using the form on the contact page.

Maamturks Aug and Boora n Mush 019

Maamturks Aug and Boora n Mush 002

Maamturks Aug and Boora n Mush 029

Maamturks Aug and Boora n Mush 023

Maamturks Aug and Boora n Mush 026
Sunday night and it’s been a busy weekend.Saturday we took a short walk in woods to collect Chanterelles and came home with Parasol mushrooms Chanterelles, Blackberries, St.John’s wort and Eye-bright.
Then a Sunday stroll on Boora bog yielded more Blackberries and some Horsetail, followed by visit to Mum in Derrinlough and 3 baskets full of field mushrooms not to mention the abundance of veggies and apples in the garden.
Now tis after ten at night, Mushrooms are drying on racks in living room. Blackberries soaking for a batch of wine and our Icelandic visitor is brewing a herbal tea.

Walk on the wild side

Wild food walks
August 5th, Tues 11am, Cloneen, Clareen, Offaly.
Sept 13th, Sat 11am, Cloneen, Clareen,
Sept 20th, Sat, Canal walk at Clonony, Cloghan, Offaly.
Sept 27th, Sat 11am,Slieve Blooms,
Oct 11th, Sat 11am, Slieve Blooms,
Oct 18th, Sat 12 noon,Janestown Nature Reserve, Wexford.
Oct 25th, Sat 11am, Cloneen, clareen, Offaly.

Nature is shaping up to reward any gatherer this year as there is an abundance of Damsons, Blackberries, Hazelnuts, Elderberries and who knows how many fungi, come along and join in, it’s a great time of year to get busy with hand made gifts, what could be better.
Book through Mary on 087/7418536, all workshops dependant on numbers.

Fraochán harvest

Fraucháns from Slieve Blooms 2014
The weather has been so good and the Fraochán plentiful that it is well worth a trip to gather though we usually combine with a nice hike.Often we surprise a whole family of grouse feeding on the berries and they move just a little way off grumbling until we pass.
Gathering the berries is a slow job and what wild food is all about.They have a strong colour and my fingers are stained purple all through their season.Fraochán These little beauties are so tasty and nutritious.
The berries are an excellent remedy for all manner of eye problems and the leaves in a tea are good to regulate blood sugar and to fight urinary tract infections, all this and tasty too!
I’m lucky enough to own this handy devise which I use only when berries are in plentiful supply,keeping to wild food craft good practice of harvesting no more than one third.
fraocháns or Bilberries (vaccinium myrtillus)are a member of the heather family and grow on acid soil.

Summer mushrooms, berries and flowers

It is a muggy damp July evening,the garden is full of new spuds, courgettes, carrots, beans, peas and bucket loads of berries all needing some attention be it weeding or picking, and in the hedges there are the last few Elderflowers, on the mountains a very healthy crop of Fraughans or wild Bilberries (Vaccinium myrtillus). Fraochán
These tasty little berries are packed full of vitamin C along with large amounts of anthocyanins, blue pigments which are powerful antioxidants.

Today on the way home we spied some Dryad’s saddle polyporus squamus mushrooms growing on a neighbors tree stump, they made a tasty dish for dinner, I have tried these before but had picked slightly older ones and it was like chewing an old boot.So it was good to finally enjoy them as young tasty polypores, they are easy to identify, growing on dead wood and reaching up to 50cms in diameter, they have brown scales and a depression in the cap close to the stem. They are a bracket fungus growing with pores on the underside, sometimes called pheasant of the woods due to their scales which look like a hen phesant’s back.Dryad's saddle

tasty mushrooms

Phesant of the woodsPhesant of the woodstasty mushrooms
On July 6th we collected and enjoyed our first Chanterelles of the season, so delicious.

Recently a lady visited who is interested in quilting and has begun to dye her own fabrics, this has caught my interest and helped me notice certain wild plants in a new way. I have been seeing Dyer’s rocket for years and vaguely wondering what that tall hand some plant is, to forget all about it in search of familiar forages, now it has a whole new significance for me, not that one needs to be usefull as well as handsome but it helps!I hope to find a half hour to cut some and dry it for use in Glady’s craft.Dyer's rocket
getting to know this plant led me to wonder which other plants can be used to dye fabrics and the list is long, including nettle roots, flag iris flowers and roots, Bilberries to mention but a few.

In other news my recipe for rose cake has been well received by many of you, thank you all for kind comments.
We have bottled the Elderflower “Champagne” and will check the pressure in the bottles over the next few weeks as the champagne is for a family get together in August,also made vegan ice-cream and buckets of cordial, no matter how many blossoms I collect and use there is always a slight feeling of not having gathered enough,at the same time it gladdens my heart to see the berries setting and swelling with a promise of rich harvest to come.
Hazelnuts looking good too as are the Damsons…. so much to look forward to, but just now time to sit still and watch the sky darken and the bats come out on this moonlit night.

Summer is here

Rosa Rugosa it’s time for flowers, Beautiful Rosa Rugosa with their heady scent and of course Elderflowers, but don’t limit yourself to cordial, you could make a simple ice-cream from Elderflowers and today I baked a rose cake to serve with the ice cream, here is the recipe.
It’s gluten free

ROSE CAKE
15grms of fresh Rosa Rugosa petals,
teaspoon of rose water,
200grams of ground almonds,
4 eggs,
75 grams of unrefined caster sugar,
half teaspoon of gluten free baking powder.

Line the base of a round 20cm cake tin with baking parchment and oil or butter the sides.

Heat oven to 175 degrees cent. If you are using a mixer such as kitchen aid whisk the eggs together but if using a hand held beater you will need to seperate eggs and beat yolks and whites seperately, adding half sugar to yolks and half to whites.The beaten egg white is added last.
Mix baking powder with ground almonds, stir into beaten eggs (or egg yolk) add sliced petals and rose water, spread in 20cm cake tin and bake for about 25 mins till skewer comes out clean. cool and serve with a few fresh berries and crystallized rose petals and ice-crem.

June Forage Dates June 2014

3 dates for June,

Sunday june 1st at Clareen Offaly.

Saturday June 21st at Clareen Offaly.

Saturday June 28th at Clareen Offaly.

Come along and  get to know your hedgerow and how to use wild plants and fungi.

Enjoy a tasty lunch of wild and organic foods.

places limited to allow best experience, 

price 25 Euro per adult.

Book with Mary on 0877418536Image

 

Dates for May 2014

May 4th, Galway slow food event,fully booked.

May 10th, Jamestown nature reserve, Ennisgorthy, Wexford book with Will on (087) 2052266.

May 17th, Offaly forage,book with me on (087) 7418536.

The countryside is ablaze with wild flowers and all kinds of wonderful plants see and enjoy, not to mention the sublime Morels and St.George mushrooms, so come out and enjoy getting up close with your local hedgerow.

 

Apologies

Hi everyone,

so good to have some sunny weather, especially at Easter when so many are lucky enough to have time to be out enjoying it. My Hotmail account has been permanently blocked and as I had emailed many of you from that address my apologies as I have been unable to see messages or reply to them.

If you wish to contact me please send email to contact@wildfoodmary or phone 0877418536,thank you and happy Easter to all.

 

Time to go a gathering April May 2014

New Dates for Walks and lunch,

Fresh green growth is everywhere,spring flowers are appearing, it’s time to go a gathering.If you would like to get to know more about what’s available all around, how to cook it preserve it or even make simple home remedies. Join us for wild food walks and talks, lunch of wild and organic foods included.

Cost is 25Euro per person for walk and lunch.

In order to offer best experience numbers are limited so book early.087/7418536.

Pignut

Pignut / Fairy Potato / Prata Sioga

april-pics-137

 

April 12th Saturday.Offaly.

April 21st Easter Monday. Offaly.

April 26th, Saturday. Offaly.

Dates for May and June to be posted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jew’s ear fungus

Jelly fungusJew’s Ear fungus Hirneola auricula-judea

found growing on dead Elder branch.This little fungus is very popular in Asia and dries very well,  IMG_0470

Alexanders Smyrnium olusatrum  is beginning to appear, and good to pick now. Use as a green veg or Miles Irving suggests a risotto of blue cheese and Alexanders, worth a try. I collected lots of seed last year and will sow them in my own patch, a lovely plant to have.

Also still some time to dig and scrub those dandelion leaves for drying, just check leaf shape to be sure you are digging Dandelions.

 

« Older entries

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 308 other followers