Gorse blossom wine

Gorse wine recipe

Gorse wine fermenting in demijohn

Two and half litres of blossom,

Five litres of hot water,

Zest and juice of two lemons,

One kg sugar,

Half kg raisins,

One sachet of white wine yeast.


Pick blossom on dry day, put blossom, water and sugar into white plastic bucket, stir and allow to sit for a week, stir every day and push the blossom down into liquid. strain out blossom and put liquid into demijohn, add yeast, airlock and leave in warm place to ferment. The wine should ferment rapidly at first and then slow down with a build up of sediment in the vessel. Carefully siphon wine from sediment after about two weeks and rinse out the demijohn. return wine to demijohn and allow to continue fermenting until fermentation in complete. You can add a campden tablet at this stage but I prefer to keep the wine additive free. Bottle and leave 6 months before drinking.

(recipe adapted from Peggy Hutchinson’s homemade wine secrets)

January bounty

The calender says January 22nd, usually that means deep winter with most vegetation resting but our continuing mild weather means that many spring plants are already up and growing. I found this lot in a lovely slightly overgrown suburban Galway garden. starting in top right hand corner they are; Navelworth (Umbilicus rupestris )  Dandelion(Taraxacum offcinalis) Hairy bitter cress (Cardamine hirsuta ) Broad leaved willow herb(Epilobium montanum ) Gorse flowers (Ulex europaes) Three cornered leek (Allium triquetrum) and last Ground elder (Aegopodium podagraria).

A nice range for this time of year, all were used as garnish or in salad,the Leeks make a lovely Pesto alone or teamed with young nettle tops or parsley. If you want to try Dandelion coffee dig up your roots now before the plant energy goes to leaf and flower,give them a really good scrub, chop and dry. Why not try making a Gorse blossom wine too.

I finally got my own copy of Prannie Rathigan`s wonderfull book Irish Seaweed Kitchen so a trip to the shore is due. Gotta get some kind of camera too, I need something small and fairly foolproof and inexpensive….is that asking a bit much?  Meantime thanks Jess for the photo taken at Bar 8 Restaurant with  her phone.

Meanwhile back in Offaly in my own bit of wilderness the Nettle tops are good enough to pick and the Ground elder is good enough to use, will mix them in feta omlette tomorrow and also bottle my Raspberry wine and leave to mellow,  hope it is as good as 2009 and 2010.

I want to try transplant some young Elderberry plants that grow nearby, they bear particularly large flowerheads and give big juicy berries, but suffer from being hedgetrimmed every year. It would be lovely to have some growing unchecked and giving fabulous scent, flowers and berries.

Check out recipes for Tri corner leek pesto and Gorse blossom Wine, happy foraging.

Happy New Year!

Lots of you seem to have tried and given thumbs up to the Rosemary hangover cure, gotta say we used quite a bit of it here too all in the intrests of research and quality control of course. Plenty of intrest in nettle recipies too, I hope my replies are getting posted as Im still finding my way round website etc.

I have been using a lot of ginger too, its a great liver stimulant and also boosts the digestive system, a glass of hot ginger and lemon is a real wake up first thing every day.

Now its time to get moving on all I want to do this year, got off to pretty good start with lots of walks,there is a surprising amount of fresh greens in the hedgerows due to the mild weather, we picked Navelworth (Umbilicus rupestris), Common Sorrell (Rumex acetosa) and Corn Salad(Valerianella locusta) on Jan first and found some still juicy Sloes too, so if I can rustle  lup a bottle of vodka will start some Sloe vodka, yumm. The Ramsons Garlic(Allium ursinum) is coming up under the trees here so its worth checking if your patch is as early.

The birds are singing away in the garden today convinced its spring, this year I want to try to grow Oyster Mushrooms(Pleurotus ostreatus) on Oak logs and even have a shot at Morels(Morchella elata) IF I can find the spore for sale online it would be fantastic to have them. Paul Stamets book Mycellium Running has really good advice on how to do and is a fantastic read. If you have recipies you would like to see or a plant or topic to discuss just let me know meantime happy foraging.

Nettle Tops and Cheese Omelette

Nettle TopsNettles are a source of vitamins, flavinoids and iron.Used to help Arthritis and Rheumatism, also an infusion or tea can be used to detox.



  • cup of fresh young nettle tops, washed and chopped
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 4 organic eggs, lightly beaten
  • dessertspoonful natural yoghurt
  • knob of butter
  • salt and pepper
  • 100 g mature cheddar, grated



Heat the grill ready to finish omelette.

Melt the butter on pan and wilt the nettle tops, add scallions and heat through.

Combine the eggs, yougurt and in a bowl and season to taste.

Add egg mix to pan and cook, turning once till just set.

Sprinkle on grated cheese and place under grill till cheese bubbles.

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