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.

Wild Beech Leaf Liqueur

Ready at last, Beech Leaf Liqueur

Ready at last, Wild Beech Leaf Liqueur

Stockists so far;

  • Galway, McCambridges;
  • Dublin, Celtic Whiskey Shop;
  • Donnybrook Fair;
  • Blackrock, McCabes,;
  • Ranelagh, Redmonds;
  • Portmarnock, Jus de Vine;
  • Birr, Supervalu;
  • Roscrea, Supervalu;
  • Portlaoise, Egan’s Wine Shop;
  • Tullamore, Hugh Lynch’s & Carry Out;

New stockists coming soon.

 

the bit on the back

The back label

Also available – gift tokens which cover workshops or liqueur.

 

Wild Beech Leaf Liqueur is a one of a kind liqueur made from leaves handpicked in the Irish countryside. Just a little is taken from each tree and then treated according to an old family recipe which has been refined and perfected by Wild Food Mary.

The resulting liqueur has burnt toffee aromas and a pleasant smokiness to it, smooth on the tongue with a lingering satisfying finish. Wild Beech Leaf Liqueur has unique flavours and lends itself well to cocktails, or as a shot served with desert or beside a coffee.

Presented in 350ml bottles, Wild Beech Leaf liqueur retails for about twenty euros.

Hidden Ireland’s Roundwood House were first to include our liqueur in their menu. Three of Ireland’s Michelin Star chefs are also using the liqueur in their restaurants.

Wild Food Mary is an experienced wild food crafter, who has had her recipes featured in Food and Wine magazine and on TV (Dermot’s Secret Garden and others). Mary is proud to bring you her unique liqueur produced with care and respect for nature.

 

2015 calendar

Thank you for the many enquiries for 2015. Weather permitting walks will commence in late Feb or early Mar, dates to be finalised shortly.

All walks are family friendly, small groups, minimum 4adults max 16 and include lunch of wild and local organic produce. Gift vouchers now available, contact me on 0877418536 or email contact@wildfoodmary.com.

 

Christmas baking

It’s a wild and stormy day out,perfect for staying cosy and baking for Christmas. I will be making Christmas cakes, fruit is soaking in Wild Beech Liqueur. I’m making a delicious wheat free cake from ground Hazelnuts, which goes in freezer. It will be soaked in Wild Beech Liqueur before serving maybe with pears or a coffee drizzle.

Then I have some Vodka soaked Damsons to use…. I’m thinking dark chocolate,  truffles or maybe a rich sauce for pouring over good ice cream. Even Damson Vodka ice cream with the damson bits in it!! Better get busy.

Any ideas for recipes very welcome, in cooking, cocktails, hot or cold.

Gifts

How about a gift voucher for a workshop with Wild Food Mary.

Workshops take place throughout the year, midweek and weekends. The day begins with a welcome cuppa and introduction. Then it’s off out a-gathering and identifying plants fungi, berries, herbs. Lunch is of best local organic and foraged foods and guests are welcome to help out. Afternoon is spent swopping recipes and ideas with possibly a second short forage.

Hannah and Lucy discovering wild foods at Roundwood house,

Hannah and Lucy discovering wild foods at Roundwood house,

Transition Year workshop samples

Transition Year workshop samples

Blackberry friands with hazelnut crackle, yummm

Blackberry friands with hazelnut crackle, yummm

Ready at last, Beech Leaf Liqueur

Ready at last, Beech Leaf Liqueur

Vouchers available now in 25 euro and 50 euro or more.To book please email me with value of voucher, your address or address of recipient, then pay by bank transfer or postal order.

Vouchers are valid to end of 2015 and redeemable against workshops and/or Liqueurs etc.Workshop dates posted here in mid January and subject to numbers. Minimum 4 maximum 16 people.

 

Winter is here.

Today I woke in Dun Laoire  to a bright sunny but chilly morning. An early morning run,  the sun lighting  up the yellow and Bronze leaves and sparkling on Dublin Bay, poetic pinks and blues of the early morning sky.

I’m out again in the afternoon another walk, this time in woods and by river suck in county Galway, low sun through the trees and on the water, flocks of ducks and waders, Blewits and Cloudy Agarics under the trees, I’ll serve these with cous-cous and veggies and a handful of Stellaria with it’s tiny white flowers.

In the fields shaded from the sun patches of fog and frost linger all day, on way home something catches my eye and I jump the wall to investigate, my curiosity is rewarded with a large patch of Horse Mushrooms. November 23,2014 003

My fleece top makes an instant “basket” to carry home the booty.

November 23,2014 007 November 23,2014 009

Meanwhile I am busy introducing my Wild  Beech Leaf Liqueur to the best outlets and will have stocks in Galway, Dublin, Limerick, Cork, Tullamore, Portlaoise  and of course Birr shortly. Thank you all for inquiries and your patience. tasting at Egan’s wine shop Portlaoise Friday November 28th.

November, what to forage.

November brings shorter days and cooler temperatures.But the light and colours of November are special, getting out to the woods and wild can be very rewarding with our visiting birds and surprise finds in hedgerows.

Now is the time to go searching for Rose hips which shine from the hedges. Sloes are ready for picking also and there may be some Spanish or sweet Chestnuts still around.

Fields, lawn and verges can yield Sorrel and even some Vetch or wild Marjoram.It’s also a good time to dig up roots of Dandelion, chop and dry for dandelion coffee, I picked up a pack in a shop today, 100grams for 3.19 euro, that’s 31.90 euro per kilo! it was made in Germany and packed in England, why not make your own.november mushrooms

Veg and flower gardens, especially my untidy one, have Corn salad, Chickweed and Hairy bitter cress.

Walls and stony places can yield Navelworth and House Leek.

Watercress  is a good November forage if you have a clean source.

 Woods are full of beautiful and varied fungi, admire them all and maybe you will encounter some Hedgehog, Blewits, Puffballs , Chanterelles or Cloudy agarics.Be sensible when collecting new species and identifying, when in any doubt ask a knowledgeable person and with some, such as Blewits and Cloudy agaric try just a little first time as some people suffer gastric upset.

Grab you coat hat and gloves, Kids of all ages enjoy, kick up the leaves while you’re out and make the most of the daylight.

For a different kind of forage, with two or three adults a word on “fashion” try wearing earthy colours, browns and greens, forget the deodorant, aftershave or perfume, go quietly.Why? well if you go quietly and blend in to your surrounding you have a much better chance of spotting wild life, a kingfisher on a river, a flock of tiny coal tits feeding, a deer .Just sit quietly for even ten mins sipping that warming drink and watching.

On a  recent foray while standing at the edge of a puddle a mouse popped out of the grass at our feet and plunged into the water, swam across the puddle, hauled itself up the bank and sat at a safe distance watching us.A memorable encounter for me and maybe for the mouse too.

In September we came across two male goats engaged in battle,smashing and crashing their headgear together, exhausting themselves in an effort to impress the ladies.

 

 

November forage, Roundwood house, laois

Hannah and Lucy discovering wild foods at Roundwood house,

Hannah and Lucy discovering wild foods at Roundwood house,

November first, you might think it too late in year to go foraging.
Not so, on Saturday a group of guests and I gathered for a wild food talk, forage and dinner.
The talk focused mainly on mushroom hunting, how to forage safely and sustainably and how to include and inform children, also the benefits of mushrooms, not just in our diet.
The walk, in grassland, garden and under magnificent trees yielded 5 different edible mushrooms and plenty not for the pot, but beautiful in themselves.
We also collected fresh greens and some berries then headed back to the warmth of the fire to enjoy a sip of my Damson Vodka and relax before dinner.
Dinner was sublime, one delicious course followed another, with our wild finds combined with best of local produce.
The mood was relaxed, old friends and new sharing a special meal.Our two chefs, Paddy and Ted joined us for a well deserved desert. A nightcap sip of my Beech Leaf Liqueur rounded off the evening beautifully.

Thank you to Mama nature for her beauty and bounty.
Thank you to everyone for a great day and to Hannah,Paddy, Amilee and Lucy for the welcome at Roundwood.

 

Beech Leaf Liqueur

 

Ready at last, Beech Leaf Liqueur

Ready at last, Beech Leaf Liqueur

Made from tender young Beech leaves sustainably handpicked just as they emerge in the springtime this lovely liqueur has burnt toffee aromas, a good woody flavour and a pleasant woodiness.

Try it and you’re sure to love it.

It is perfect as a before or after dinner sip, it is also ideal for serving with dessert and goes very well with coffee or poured over ice-cream, at moment I’m using it with delicate Almond and Pear Cake.

Thank you to everyone who has helped me bring this to market.

Roundwood House forage

30Foraging pics 23Foraging pics 21Foraging pics 33Foraging pics Roundwood forage

Beautiful sunny autumn day spent in Slieve Blooms with Hannah and Paddy of Roundwood House and friends. Big thank you to Lorraine O Sullivan for great photos and Corinna Hardgrave for mention in Sunday Times food article on October 12th.

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