With autumn upon us, I’ve been thinking about what foods I can preserve for my winter larder. Much in the way that I imagine Saint Patrick and his followers would have started to preserve food at harvest time for the winter ahead in 5th century Ireland.

So, I made a trip to a friend’s orchard to collect some ingredients to make the Apple and Plum Compote from page 76 of my cookbook Saint Patrick’s Plate. I also visited Saul Church, close to Downpatrick, which is said to be the site of Saint Patrick’s first Church in Ireland. 

An amazing thing happened inside the Church at Saul. I was fortunate to meet some visiting pilgrims who sang an impromtu version of Ave Maria – in their own language it’s called Jina Maria – and it reminded me of my youth and the services at Church to celebrate the harvest

Have a look at the video below to hear the beautiful singing from Saul and learn how to make a devine Apple and Plum Compote – it’s so versatile and is always a winner as an accompaniment with everything from porridge, to fresh brown bread and even with desserts.

Harvest Blessings to you and yours!

Terry Mc Coy