Delighted and proud to be listed among some fine Fingal businesses this Christmas! We all deeply appreciate the shop local theme to this Christmas. My little giftset is available now and we’ll ship it anywhere in the world for you. A copy of the book, some jam and compote, a branded wooden spoon and glove, some carrageen moss and a note from myself! An ideal gift for the foodie in your life.
Thanks so much to the lovely Mary Honan for having me on for a chat with Lír Media recently. We had a lovely chat about supporting local business, foraging, and the lovely gift set I now have for sale this Christmas. Get your copies now to get them in time for Christmas!
I really enjoyed my most recent forage at Ardgillan Castle and Skerries Train Station. Local Blackberries are everywhere. Just look for a spot off the main road to avoid any emmissions. A really simple recipe from page 104 in the book, easy to make with your family and delicious results are guaranteed. The jam will keep right through the winter months, if you can keep your kids from devouring it all!
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.
While the summer weather continues let’s not mention the big C! Instead, lets enjoy the sunshine and good times and reap the rewards of the wonderful fresh fruits and produce available on our doorstep. This week, I decided to try the Summer Rhubarb Log in Saint Patrick’s Plate, using fresh local produce.
I’m sure Saint Patrick would have been proud to serve such a rich dessert to the high king of Ireland!
Check out my video below for the methodology and ingredients. This is a tricky one, but it’s so worth the effort. If you use an electric mixer the job is half done. My cameraman doesn’t like the loud noise so I mix everything by hand but there are shortcuts at your fingertips. It’s a delicious treat – why not try it with a glass of Elderflower champagne?!
As covid19 rumbles on around the world there is still a lot of uncertainty ahead. However, even in this uncertain world, seasonal produce is still available. So, I decided to create the baked crab recipe in Saint Patrick’s Plate, using freshly caught crabs from the Irish sea.
Check out my video below for the methodology and ingredients. This is quite a sophisticated recipe but once you master the skill of extracting the crab meat the rest is pretty straightforward. Your guests will be mightily impressed!
Shellfish has been widely eaten in Ireland since the earliest times. As Saint Patrick navigated the coast and rivers of Ireland he would have eaten shellfish and indeed baked crab, with the natives as he preached the gospel of Christ.
Strangford Lough is purportedly where Saint Patrick first sailed to on his return to Ireland after becoming a Bishop. The lough is also famous for its sweet tasting crabs.
I can just imagine the Saint tucking into a meal of Strangford baked crab at Saul, Co. Down, while converting the local chieftain, Dichu, to Christianity!
I’m delighted to be able to get out and about to forage in this beautiful early summer weather now that lockdown restrictions have been eased a little.
In my latest video below, I demonstrate how to forage for ingredients and how to make the Wild Garlic and Nettle Soup recipe from Saint Patrick’s Plate.
Both nettles and wild garlic have been used in herbal medicine since ancient times. It is said that Roman troops rubbed nettles on themselves to help stay warm, while they used garlic as a source of strength and courage!
What we do know about both ingredients is that they are full of vitamins and minerals as well as being excellent anti-oxidants. And, of course, they’re free when you forage for them!
In St. Patrick’s time in Ireland, both ingredients were in abundance, as they are today, and readily available to add to recipes. Wild Garlic and Nettle Soup may sound a little unusual to us, but my guess is this dish would have been very familiar to St. Patrick and his converts.
It is really delicious and simple to make so GO FORAGE and test it out!
As the lockdown continues, here is a really easy recipe to try out and a great way to get young children involved in cooking.
I’ve been making Saint Patrick’s Flapjacks while cocooning with my family and young granddaughter. She is really enjoying the fun and achievement of making the flapjacks, but, the best bit is that she is eating a healthy and wholesome snack! They taste great and are brilliant for energy before going out for some daily exercise.
Check out my video below for the ingredients and method for Saint Patrick’s Flapjacks.
In Saint Patrick’s time in Ireland, I imagine a version of these flapjacks being in the Saint’s satchel to give him vital energy for his travels and miraculous deeds!
I hope you and yours are staying safe and healthy. Fingers xed we will start to see some relaxation of lockdown measures in the coming weeks.