Blog Archives

November 2011 – Willow planting and Christmas wreathes

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I try to plant fifty trees a year, helped by giving guests a young sapling to take home and at the end of the summer any trees I’m left with I plant around our boundary. This year I’ve really beat … Continue reading

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Butterflies and bees in abundance

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The new borders either side of the drive filled with verbena bonariensis, nicotiniana and wild flowers have brought a profusion of butterflies and bees this summer. So many, that as we walk along the gravel in late August, the butterflies … Continue reading

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Meadow Grasses

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I’ve become obsessed with grasses. A friend lent me a wonderful book called ‘A year in the Life of an English Meadow’ by Andy Garnett & Polly Devlin and it made me realise how fortunate we are in the West of … Continue reading

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Honey Roasted Gubbeen Ham

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Gubbeen Ham is produced locally in West Cork and the quality and flavour means that nothing need be added to produce a delicious meal. Gubbeen marinate their ham in a brine made up of white wine, herbs, pepper and juniper … Continue reading

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Roast Chicken with Stuffing Balls and Onion Gravy

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Roast Chicken with Stuffing Roast chicken is one of our mainstays during the winter and spring months. We always buy a large free-range chicken, which although much dearer, often provides enough for another dish, like chicken and mushroom pie. The carcass … Continue reading

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Elderflower Champagne

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At the beginning of June each year the elderflowers burst into bloom in our garden and I know that time is of the essence, as the elderflowers will be gone before I have fully stocked our larder for the winter … Continue reading

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Spring in the garden

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Wild flowers in May 2011 at Ballymacrown Homestead, Baltimore, Co. Cork, Ireland - a photographic survey.

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Parsnip Soup with Spinach and Yoghurt

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A useful recipe to use up the last of the parsnips from the veg bed when digging it over in the Spring. The baby spinach leaves over-wintered in the greenhouse pulsed with Glenilen* yogurt to counteract the sweetness of the parsnips. Served with soda … Continue reading

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Soda Bread

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The great advantage of this bread is that it is so easy and quick to make, as it doesn’t require kneading or a long proving period. It is an ideal loaf for a novice bread maker to start with. 1 … Continue reading

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Hazelnut Wholemeal Tartlets

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These tarts are delicious, we had them at a friend’s house and we just had to get the recipe – thanks Isolda for sending it on to us. I think it’s originally from Delia’s Summer Recipe book. Base 6 slices … Continue reading

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Irish Pancakes

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These are the pancakes my mother made for me as a child. They are quite different to French crepes in that they are thicker and the addition of baking powder makes little bubbles that pop in the surface – similar … Continue reading

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Rhubarb Compote

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This recipe uses far less sugar than used for jam allowing the taste of the fruit to shine. Handfull  of rhubarb stalks 200 gm sugar Orange/apple juice to just cover rhubarb in pan How to make Rhubarb Compote Chop the rhubarb and place … Continue reading

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Chicken and Mushroom Pie with Tarragon

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This is a great recipe for using up left overs from a roast chicken. It is flavoured with tarragon, which resurfaces in our herb garden in April. There’s enough dough to cut in half and freeze to make it quicker to … Continue reading

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Mackeral Pizza

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Pizza is great for using up a glut of tomatoes in the greenhouse. Roasting them first really enhances the flavour and Sally Barnes’ smoked mackeral is a great addition. The fish is caught locally off the coast of  West Cork and cured and … Continue reading

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Fish & Leek Pie with Garlic Mash

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Using uncooked fish in this recipe cuts the preparation time for this dish in half and ensures that the fish is kept moist. The addition of creme fraiche instead of a white sauce also saves time. Ingredients Mixed fish fillets … Continue reading

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Sunday Tea – Blackcurrant Drizzle Cake

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This is our store cupboard cake which we make in the winter and spring using blackcurrants that we have frozen from our garden the previous summer and eggs from our ducks. Duck eggs are great for baking, giving the cake a lovely … Continue reading

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