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;
  • Cork, Bradleys North main St.
  • 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.

 

Wild Soup for February and March

wild soup wild soup ingredientsLate February is letting us know that spring is in the air but there is plenty of cold weather about too.Here is a very easy  soup using the year’s earliest foraged greens, a real warmer and very good value.The basic recipe is Vegan and gluten free but you could adapt to serve with grated mature cheddar, crumbled feta or even bacon or ham chunks, also if you can mix wild greens a some frozen peas.

Ingredients,

400 grms potatoes, cut into cubes, skin on or off as you like,

30 grms (1cup) fresh wild leek leaves,snipped

30 grms (1cup) fresh wild nettle leaves,

30 grms (1cup) small young ground elder leaves,

2 liters organic stock,

Good sprig Thyme, 3 Bay leaves,

Organic Atlantic sea salt, Black pepper,

Splash of olive oil or sunflower oil,

In a heavy pan warm the oil,add the potatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes, add all the remaining ingredients and bring to the boil, reduce the heat and cook gently until potato is softened.

Remove the Thyme sprig and Bay leaves and blitz the soup with a stick blender, taste, adjust seasoning, serve with a scattering of wild gorse blossom or topping of your choice, Creme fraiche; a little feta;grated mature Cheddar; croutons etc.

Pack this if you’re off hiking or foraging or on the sideline cheering on your little champions, Enjoy.

Chilly weather, Feb3rd /15

February 3rd and a very chilly snow sprinkled morning,the ground is too frozen for foraging so it’s a day for baking, using some store cupboard foraged ingredients, something sweet methinks, though sugar free.. I will use some of my store of Hazelnuts and a dash of Beech Leaf Liqueur in a cake which will be wheat and dairy free and I will also make a spread from raw Cacao soft avocados and sweeten with  Xylitol and/or Agave syrup, maybe add some milled Hazelnuts to that also.Xylitol is derived from Birch trees so even though I did not gather and process, it is a wild ingredient.

Shelling your own Hazelnuts is slow, wrap nuts in a tea towel or clean cloth and bash with a rolling pin, you will get to know just how much force to use so as to crack the nuts but not crush them.Then you can toast them carefully and rub off the skins,  blitz in blender, in batches till fine.In the recipe I use 300grms of hazelnuts but you could make from a mix of Hazelnuts and  Almonds.

 

Hazelnut cake with Beech Liqueur drizzle .(wheat, dairy and sugar free)

Oven 175 degrees; 20cm round springform cake tin, oiled and base lined with baking parchment

300grms Ground Hazelnuts,

Half teaspoon of baking powder.

5 medium organic eggs.

Tablespoon of Agave syrup.

1 shot of strong espresso,

1 shot of Beech Leaf Liqueur.

In a bowl mix almonds, hazelnuts and baking powder.

Beat eggs till pale and add agave slowly with mixer on slow speed, when well mixed gently fold in dry ingredients,  to combine taking care not to overmix and loose volume.

Pour batter into prepared tin and bake at 175 degrees for 20 mins, insert skewer into center of cake to test and bake a little longer if needed.Cool in tin for ten mins and then remove from tin. When cooled place a circle of parchment over top of cake, invert carefully and peel off parchment cake was baked on, turn cake right side up onto serving plate.

Combine espresso and Liqueur and drizzle over cake.

Enjoy.

If you like dairy you can also serve with whipped cream or Creme Fraiche laced with a little more Liqueur.Or use dairy free yogurt.

If you want to omit alcohol you could serve with Elderberry syrup.

 

 

2015 Diary dates Jan, Feb, Mar.

2015, my workshops will be getting off to an early start this  year.

January Sat,24th Roundwood House Laois, see http://www.roundwoodhouse.com or call 057 87321

February Sunday 15th Roundwood House Laois, book as above.

February Saturday 21st, Clareen Offaly, book 087/7418536.

March 21st, Clareen Offaly, book 087/7418536.

March 28th, Roundwood House Laois, book 057 87321.

The two Saturdays at  Roundwood House are offered as part of overnight stay, the Sunday is open to guests and also april-pics-046

Pignut

Pignut / Fairy Potato / Prata Sioga

Ready at last, Beech Leaf Liqueur

Ready at last, Beech Leaf Liqueur

day visitors, call Hannah or Paddy for details.

Christmas and New year 2014/15

Sunset, frozen lake 2 Mini forest Billy eve at sunset boathouse Crib D Max Oys Detail Fireplace Front door gifts Gorse bloom 2nd Jan Hellibore (2) Hiker's shadows kitchen ceiling Me n oys stump place setting 2 Scoops waiting for Santa Sphagnum mossThis time of year it’s special to find something to collect, a stump of fallen Beech passed many times suddenly blooms with a large crop of Oyster Mushrooms and a mountain hike has Navelworth and early Gorse blooms. The real stars at this time are the winter sunlight and the colours of bogs and mountains, tiny details of moss and lichen, frozen branch and droplets on grass.

In the garden I have planted spuds, peas and garlic in polytunnel and harvested very last Tomatoes, a huge bunch of Parsley and some Beetroot along with wild Corn salad. The Parsley goes to make fresh zingy pesto with walnuts and cashews, later in spring I will make it again with addition of Nettles.

The other thing winter is great for is using your store cupboard foods, this year we made Elderflower ice-cream, Wild mushroom risotto,Pigeon breast with Blackberry sauce,Nettle cordial, Blackberry Liqueur, spiced Elderberry syrup. Damson Vodka and a very unusual dish of Sauterkraut with Wild mushrooms, damson vodka and Juniper berries. 

 

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.

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