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Wild Food Mary

Foraging education, wild liqueurs, preserving, recipes, resources

Upcoming Workshops

Monday August 3rd @ Roundwood house Laois, Phone 057/8732120 

Friday August 7th Farnham Estate Co. Cavan, phone 049/4377700

Saturday August 22nd @ Clareen, Co. Offaly, phone 087/7418536

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Hi and welcome to WildFoodMary.com!

My name is 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.

You can find me on Instagram and Facebook.

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Wild Beech Leaf Liqueur

Wild Beech Leaf Liqueur, where to find.

  •  Sweeney,s Glasnevin
  •  Redmonds; Ranelag
  •  McCabes; Blackrock
  •  Donnybrook Fair;
  •  Celtic Whiskey Shop;Stephen’s green
  •  Bradleys ; Cork North main St.
  •  McCambridges; Galway
  •  Harte’s Kildare,
  •  Supervalu;Birr,
  •  Supervalu;Roscrea,
  •  Egan’s Wine Shop, Portlaoise,
  •  Hugh Lynch’s, Tullamore, 
  •  Carry out; Tullamore.

Restaurants 

  • Chapter One,Parnel square.
  • Morehampton Brasserie,Morehampton Rd, 
  • Kai, Galway 
  • Loam Galway 
  • Ard Bia Galway.
  • Roundwood House: Co. Laois 
the bit on the back
The back label

Recommended serving idea’s  Personally I enjoy the Beech neat, but here are a few variations, suggestions very welcome also.

  • Frappe, over crushed ice;
  • 1 measure Beech to 4 measures tonic;
  • 1 measure Beech to 2 measures fresh orange juice;
  • 1 measure Beech in your favorite coffee,
  • 1 measure Beech, or to taste in hot Chocolate;
  • 1 measure Beech with dash hot water
  • Pour it over homemade ice-cream or drizzle over a Hazelnut or Almond cake.

I will be posting recipes shortly, meanwhile enjoy and please send on any comments or suggestions, thank you, 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.

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Fraughan (Bilberry) frozen dessert, (Dairy, gluten and sugar free)

Ingredients,

500ml carton of Sojade organic soya yogurt,

750mls fresh Fraughans,

Juice and zest of a lime,

200grms Xylitol sweetener, or Agave syrup.

150mls water.

Tablespoon dark rum (optional).

This frozen desert is so easy to make. Of course you can adapt and use all the sugar, whipped cream you like. I made it this way for a very special lady’s birthday along with an Elderflower version and rich Chocolate pots (all gluten, dairy and sugar free)

Method,

Put the berries water, juice and zest into a pan and warm till berries soften and the juice runs. Stir in xylitol or Agave syrup and taste. remember you will be adding yogurt so you can make it just a little too sweet. Remove from heat  sieve to remove seeds and skins. Allow to cool. Add yogurt and mix well to blend, taste and add a dash of rum if liked, adjust sweetness.

Put the mixture into an ice-cream maker and churn till thick, about 15 mins,put into suitable containers and freeze.

Photod for July blog
Photod for July blog

Dairy Free Elderflower ice_cream

I made a very quick and easy Dairy free Elderflower Ice-cream for our forage @ weekend, here is the recipe

I used “Sojade” organic soya yogurt but you can also try mashed ripe avocado.

It’s best to use an ice cream maker if you have one. It is important to add lime and lemon juice at start to keep good colour and don’t overheat water, if you don’t have time to infuse overnight just leave flowers soaking for an hour at least.

Ingredients;

800mls water,

700grms un-refined sugar (or try Xylitol)

Zest and juice of 2 organic limes and 1 lemon (0r 3 lemons),

40 fresh Elderflower heads,

200g cornflour (or Kuzu)

2, 400g tubs of Organic soya yogurt.

Teaspoon of sea salt.

Put zest, juice,  and water into a pan and heat to hot but not boiling. Add flowerheads turn off heat, cover and infuse overnight if possible otherwise for at least an hour.

Strain, you should have a good strong Elderflower scented liquid.

Return liquid to rinsed pan and add sugar, heat stirring to dissolve sugar.

Mix cornflour to a thick paste with a little water, pour into pan stirring all the time, bring to boil and simmer for 3 minutes stirring all the time.Turn off heat and taste, remember you will be adding yogurt and that frozen will taste less sweet. However I like to reduce the sweetness by adding a teaspoon of sea-salt at this stage.Cool the liquid, you can speed up the cooling process by putting pan into a bowl of cold water and ice cubes.

In blender  blend the yogurt and COLD Elderflower or use a stick blender and large bowl, when well blended, taste adjust flavour to your liking with more sweet, salt or lemon/lime.

Churn in ice-cream maker for about 20 minutes and scoop into container. If you don’t have an ice-cream maker place in freezer and freeze for hour, remove and mix to break up any ice crystals, return to freezer and repeat twice or till frozen.

Delectable with any desert, Try Fraughan syrup for a final florish.Elderflower ice-cream and rose petals

Midsummer Forage @ Derrinlough

Saturday June 27Th 11 a.m, this special workshop will take place @ Derrinlough the house where I was born,  took my first steps into nature and learned so much from my Mammy Jane.

cost €30 per adult, includes a tasting lunch of wild and organic foods.

Julie's dancing flower fairy

Summer forage.

Sat June 13th and Sat June 27th,forage days in Offaly, book on 087/7418536.Confirm bookings by thursday June 11th please.

gorse n broommary pictures april 2015 014freshElderflowersDSCN0432

New discovery

Beech n tea, Fairy foxglove 020John Wilson writes about making your own drinks in today’s Irish Times, he  has also tried our Beech Liqueur and  says “an intruiging perfumed nose with caramel, fresh nuts and a smoky touch…”Thank you John, look forward to introducing you to the Wild Damson in the very near future.

Meanwhile I have discovered that Choco yogi tea and Beech are very happy companions in a mug. A kind of big cosy bed time hug.

Martin Moran says pour it on your cornflakes!I like it on my morning oats, got to go see how chefs are using it.

May 2015 Spring forage dates.

Sunday May 10th, 11am, Clareen Offaly;

Tues May 19th, 11am, Clareen Offaly;

Sat May 30th, 11am, Clareen Offaly;

Forage workshop and lunch of wild and local organic foods, to book call Mary on 087/7418536.

Cost €30 per adult,

May is just around the corner and nature is at her best, come along and get to know your spring wild flowers, herbs and fungi.

mary pictures april 2015 110

Dinner Menu for a Sunny April Evening

Another beautiful day. I’m really getting used to the sunshine. This evening I’m cooking for my daughter Eve and her hubby Eoin. This is a healthy, vegetarian meal that will of course feature some wild finds as well as fresh garden produce.

The star of tonight’s dinner is the wonderful morel mushroom, locally foraged yesterday evening. These are so delicious I will be preparing them very simply. I am also whipping up a wild nettle frittata and we are sampling vegetarian puddings from demadfoodcompany.  These will be followed by some wheat and dairy free rhubarb crumble.

Let me know if you try out these recipes. Comments and suggestions always welcome. Instagram users please unload photos using the hashtag #wildfoodmary


Wild Nettle and Potato Frittata

Ingredients (Serves 4)

1L Jug loosely packed with fresh nettle tops, cleaned and roughly chopped

8 Eggs (I’m using a mixture of free-range duck and hen)

4 medium Rooster Potatoes, cooked and sliced

2 Cloves Garlic Crushed

1 Medium Red Onion, Chopped

Oil or butter for frying

* You can of course make your own additions like peas, peppers, feta or your favourite cheese. 

Method (10 Minutes)

Heat your oil or butter in a large frying pan. Add onion and garlic. Sauté gently for 2-3 minutes until softened. Add the nettle tops, cover the pan and allow to wilt for a few minutes. Add the potatoes and other vegetables if using. Season the eggs with salt and pepper and pour over the potatoes. Allow to cook until beginning to set. Now is the time to add your cheese. transfer your pan to a hot oven or finish under the grill to cook the top until starting to brown.

Morels with Truffle Oil

These delicious mushroom must ALWAYS BE COOKED. I am adding some extra flavour with white truffle oil, a gift from Italy. It can be purchased in Italian and other good food shops. This recipe is so simple that the real challenge is in finding the wild morels.

Ingredients

Morel Mushrooms (however many you can manage to find)

Sprig of fresh Thyme

Butter for frying

White Truffle Oil (A few drops for serving)

Method (12 Minutes)

Begin by roughly chopping the morels. Heat the butter in a frying pan. Add the morel mushrooms and fry for about 10 minutes. Season with salt and thyme. Remove from the heat and serve with a drizzle of truffle oil.

Wild Food Mary’s Rhubarb Crumble

My son-in-law Eoin has a serious soft spot for Rhubarb so I’m delighted to be serving up this dish from the years first cutting. This recipe is wheat and dairy free. I am also using xylitol instead of sugar. You can also use agave or honey. Cooking the base and crumble topping separately ensures a delightful crunch. They can also be stored separately keep well in airtight containers.

Ingrediets

For the Rhubarb Filling

4 Stalks Fresh Rhubarb

100ml water

1 capfull vanilla extract

xylitol to taste

For the Crumble Topping

60g Coconut Oil

200g ground Almonds

100g fine Oatmeal

Handful of mixed dried fruit (optional) 

1tsp mixed spice

zest of 1 orange

xylitol to taste 

Method (30 minutes)

Preheat your over to 180 degrees. Begin by preparing the crumble topping. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking parchment. In a bowl mix all of your topping ingredients except the coconut oil. Use a teaspoon to scoop in little lumps of coconut oil. Lightly rub in the coconut oil  until you have a crumb consistency. Spread the mixture out on the baking tray. Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove from the oven, give it a good stir and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes or until it is golden brown.

While the topping is cooking you can prepare the rhubarb filling. Chop the rhubarb. Bring the vanilla, water and xylitol to the boil. Add the Rhubarb, cover and cook gently for about 5 minutes. Be careful not to overcook your rhubarb. It’s nicest when it keeps a bit of its’ shape.

Spoon rhubarb mix into a glass and cover it with the crumble. Enjoy!

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Follow Me

At last getting to grips with social media, so now you can follow me on twitter or instagram @wildfoodmary.

Forage photo diary of Easter weekend 2015

mary pictures april 2015 181 mary pictures april 2015 147 mary pictures april 2015 154 mary pictures april 2015 167 mary pictures april 2015 111 mary pictures april 2015 130 mary pictures april 2015 149 mary pictures april 2015 133 mary pictures april 2015 135 mary pictures april 2015 136 Sunny skies and plenty to gladden the senses, a walk by the lake in Cornamona, sounds of garden birds near the house then wild geese curlews and swans and ducks near the water. New lambs in the fields.

The air filled with the scent of Gorse and the sun giving it’s first real warmth of the year, heaven.

I started my weekend with meditation among friends, then a lazy lunch with Mum and few hours lying in the grass talking and laughing with my sisters, that night first campfire in garden at home, well wrapped up watching the sky darken and stars emerge. The Pipistrele bats on the wing.

Monday morning early packed the trusty Toyota with fruit trees and headed off to plant a mini orchard in Connemara, a few hours with pick, shovel and good strong helper and we downed tools and headed for the lake.

Dinner was fresh trout, thank you Tom, with wild and garden salad and of course spuds. Next morning a longer hike round the lake shore,  gathering  some Bog myrtle flowers along the way. I had some myrtle tea recently and was curious to see if Bog myrtle would be tasty, it has a strong scent and was used in beer brewing and also to keep insects at bay. The tea which I brewed with Nettles and some honey was far too bitter but I’ll try again.

Back to Offaly later and off to the food academy on Tues, on the way way home I went mushroom hunting on an impulse, bad news for my suit trousers, which are wrecked from brambles, but great news for dinner.

For me finding Morel mushrooms in Mar/April is like your team winning the triple crown, I feel a little bit like I’ve earned my forager credibility for the coming year.

As for how they will be served, I’m sure Antonio Carluccio has a few inspirational ideas.

O by the way those other mushrooms in the photo are dung mushrooms, growing on manure, DONT try these they are POISONOUS.

 

 

 

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