Wild Food Mary

Foraging, education, wild liqueurs – as seen on RTE (Lords & Ladles, Dermot's Secret Garden) & the Irish Times

Upcoming Workshops

  • Saturday May 7th. Spring flowers of forest and meadow. From Gorse blossom and Dandelions to Sloes and May-tree and a few surprising ingredients. Have fun, make flower infused treats to use in a manner of drinks, even ice-cream. hear about the health benefits of  our hedgerow heroes and be well fed also. Limited places, booking with Mary,0877418536.
  • What to bring, Rain jacket, Boots,  Paper shopping bags for collecting and small clip-top or screw-cap bottles.
  • Workshop runs from 10am to 4pm and includes lunch and drinks. Cost €50 per adult.
  • Saturday May 14th, Spring flowers of woods and meadow. @ Crann óg to book go to 091/631602
  • Saturday June 11th, Early summer flowers and fungi. Offaly. Early bird book and pay by May 15th €30, later bookings €40.
    George n me @ Ballincard, Offaly


  • Sat and Sunday Sept 10-11, we are back in Crann óg for the big autumn forage, fruits berries, nuts and maybe some fungi, a two day forage experience, go to to book and see more.091/631602
  • Sunday 18th Sept, Autumn forage Offaly.

Maamturks Aug and Boora n Mush 023

  • Saturday October 1st Fungi forage, Offaly.
  • Saturday Oct 22nd fungi forage @ Crann óg, 091/631602

This is a brief outline of proposed workshops for  2016. All adult workshops limited to a max of fifteen people to ensure an  enjoyable and informative experience.


To arrange a workshop for your family or group, home or away call Mary on 087 7418536


Featured post

Hi and welcome to!

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 Liqueurs

My Wild Damson Liqueur is ready at last! Warm plummy notes and smooth finish make this a very popular drink.  Made in a batch of 4,000 bottles from the generous wild harvest of 2014, it may be some time before we can make this again as the wild damson plum harvest is unpredictable and elusive.

The trees blossom in April and are at risk to late frosts,  even high winds and rain can hamper pollination and leave us without a crop.

Awarded two gold stars by Great Taste of Britain and Ireland, this is a very special batch.



My 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 dessert or beside a coffee.

‘Wild Food Mary vs the World’ cocktail at FIRE Restaurant in the Mansion House, Dublin

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

I’m proud to bring you my unique liqueurs produced with care and respect for nature.


Order online from Celtic Whiskey Shop



Available from these retail outlets:

  • Sweeney’s; Glasnevin, Dublin
  • Redmonds; Ranelagh, Dublin
  • McCabes; Blackrock, Dublin
  •  Donnybrook Fair; Moorehampton Rd, Dublin
  •  Celtic Whiskey Shop;Stephen’s Green, Dublin
  •  Bradleys ; North main St., Cork
  •  McCambridges; Shop St, Galway
  •  Harte’s; Kildare
  •  Egan’s Wine Shop; Portlaoise
  •  Hugh Lynch’s, Tullamore
  •  Carry Out; Tullamore
  • Nally’s Centra; Tullamore
  • Super Valu; Birr, Roscrea, Banagher, Moate, Mullingar, Celbridge, Sallins, Maynooth, Clane and Blackrock Dublin.


And from these restaurants:

  • Fire; Mansion House, Dublin
  • Chapter One; Parnell Square, Dublin
  • Kai; Galway
  • Loam; Galway
  • Ard Bia; Galway
  • Roundwood House; Co. Laois 


Serving Suggestions:

Personally I enjoy the beech liqueur neat, but here are a few variations. Your recipes also very welcome – leave a comment!


  • 1 measure Beech to 4 measures tonic;
  • 1 measure Beech to 2 measures fresh orange juice;
  • 1 measure Beech in your favourite 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😉



  • Add tonic water or your favourite bubbly to a measure of Wild Damson Liqueur.
  • Straight up over ice
  • With a dash of hot water


Featured post

Wild Garlic A Word on Food safety.

Ramson’s wild Garlic is appearing in many a wooded spot around now. Easy to identify and very tasty this is a great “starter”forage food. But a few words of warning.

  • Learn to distinguish young leaves from the young leaves of Wild Arum which often grows near by and when small can be mistaken by the unwary.
  • Pesto seems to be the most popular use of wild garlic and while it is easy to make there are some safety considerations.
  • Any food stored under oil has a short shelf life of 2 weeks. There should always be a layer of oil covering the pesto and if you use some of a pot remember to top up with with more oil.
  • Store your pesto in the Fridge, below 5 degrees centigrade. 
  • If any of your pesto shows signs of bubbling or pressure building up in the jars disgard the batch. Better to head out to the woods and start again.
  • Your pesto (or garlic leaves) will freeze well so you can keep a supply throughout the year.
  • So Keep cool, keep safe and happy.

Blackberry Recipes

Blackberries, Rubus fruticocus

Blackberries, ferocious thorns, but worth the bother for those delicious juicy berries, and it might help to know that the leaves, flowers and even fresh young shoots are also edible.

It’s a little late in year for leaves so lets talk about the berries, they contain high levels of Vit C,K and folic acid. Manganese and antioxidants.
Blackberries are good for sore throats and joint stiffness.

Here is a recipe for a delicious moist cake, a salad dressing and a tasty crumble. Both the cake and crumble are Wheat and Dairy free.

Blackberry Cake,
You will need,
Springform cake tin 22cm,
Hand held electric beater or mixer.
2 Mixing bowls.
Kitchen scales.

300grams ground Almonds,
5 eggs separated,
Zest of organic orange,
150grms caster sugar,
Cup full of Blackberries.
Half teaspoons baking powder.

Heat oven to 175, lightly oil cake tin and line base with baking parchment.
In mixing bowl beat the egg yolks with half sugar till pale.Stir the baking powder through the ground almonds.Fold the almonds into the beaten eggs in 3 batches. In a separate bowl beat the egg white with remaining sugar till it forms soft peaks. Fold the egg whites and orange zest into the mixture to lighten.
Transfer mixture to cake tin using a spatula, scatter Blackberries over the top to almost completely cover cake. As the cake bakes the Blackberries release juice which sinks and flavours and moistens cake even more. Bake for 20-25 mins until firm but not to well baked.

This is great alone or you could make a syrup from more Blackberries to pour over.

Blackberry and Apple Crumble.
You will need,
Ovenproof baking dish,
Mixing bowl.
Cup to measure.

2 Cups organic oats,
1 Cup ground almonds.
100 grams Demerara sugar.
Quarter cup Sunflower oil or Coconut oil or Butter.
Apples peeled and grated, Blackberries, stalks removed.

In a bowl combine oats sugar and almonds. Rub in oil or butter to get a crumbly texture.
Oil or grease baking dish and add apples and blackberries in whatever proportion you like. Sweeten with a little sugar to taste. Top with crumble mix and bake 25-30 mins till golden on top.

You can make a bigger batch of topping and bake it separately on a tray, cool and store in jar. Now you have ready made topping for fruit, to sprinkle into yogurt or just eat when late night munchies strike.
This topping is easy to adapt, add Cinnamon, use Xylitol instead of sugar, add Lemon zest or currants.
Blackberry vinegar,for salads and winter drinks.
Handful of fresh Blackberries,
Organic Apple cider vinegar.

Put cleaned Blackberries into clip-top bottle, pour over vinegar and leave to infuse for a week, delicious, great for a pretty gift. For joint stiffness use a good dash of vinegar with hot water and two teaspoons of honey, drink morning and night.


Elderberries are ripening in hedgerows, great news as these little berries are tasty, easy to identify and full of goodness. They are at least as valuable when it comes to boosting your immune system as Echinacea and available for free all around us.
So grab your bucket and get yourself some local free super food.

Elderberries are rich in vitamin C, they also contain high levels of flavonoids which inhibit the ability of flu virus to enter cells.
Elderberries are packed with all the essential amino acids, Vit A, B C and H, calcium, magnesium and Iron.Thus Elderberry is a strong immune strengthening herb.
They act as tonic, antibacterial,anti-inflammatory, and expectorant.

Elderberries can be used in relishes chutneys, jellies and syrups. They also contain high levels of tannins which makes these little beauties perfect for making homemade wine.I use Elderberry wine to blend with other fruit wines.
Here is a simple recipe for syrup which stores well, take a spoonful every day as winter tonic or every few hours at first signs of infection.

Elderberry Syrup, spiced.
Syrups are very versatile, they make a great warming drink, can be drizzled over ice-cream or pancakes or added to smoothies or even sauces.Take a Spoonful over porridge or in yogurt in morning. This is my favourite winter syrup. Great added to a hot port, guaranteed to cheer you up when the chills threaten.
I usually add cloves and cinnamon bark to the mix to give it extra warmth, you could try organic lemon juice and zest or organic orange jest

Saucepan, stainless steel if you have.
Jelly bag or old pillow slip for straining
Measuring jug
Weighing scales,
Bottles to store your syrup.screw top or clip top.

Elderberries stripped from stems, enough to half fills your saucepan.
Cinnamon stick.
Sugar.white, unrefined or Demerara.(you can use xylitol for a sugar free version)

Put berries in pan and cover with water, bring to boil and boil for 15 mins.Strain through jelly bag or pillow slip, squeezing to extract as much juice as possible.
Sterilize bottles in oven ( not essential if for home use) 20 mins at 160.
Rinse saucepan and measure juice. For every liter of juice add 700grms sugar or xylitol to taste. Add cloves and cinnamon, about 8 cloves and 3cm cinnamon per liter
.Heat and stir to dissolve sugar.bring to boil, turn off heat and allow to cool a little before bottling.
Bottle and allow to cool completely before storing in cool dark place or fridge, keeps very well, at least a year.


George n me @ Ballincard, OffalySunny April DinnerMe n oys stumpAugust 2014, Beara, Cadamstown 057Maamturks Aug and Boora n Mush 023Maamturks Aug and Boora n Mush 029oyster pic1mush Chantarelle basket 1jew's ear fungus With Denis Healy's Wicklow Horsemushroom and chickweed 23rd Nov Fly Agaric 2 Hedgehog mushroom field mushroom Dryad growing on tree Cep 3 Dryad's saddle showing good size to eat

School Programs

Click on the images to enlarge:



Cavan Forage, August 7th, friday

Friday 2pm @ Radisson Blu Farnham Estate, forage with wildfoodmary, come along.

Transition Year workshop samples

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


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)


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.


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

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