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Thursday, 19 November 2020

Dried seaweed - palmira palmata

 In Northern Ireland we've been brought up eating a particular type of seaweed called Dulse ( in Belfast we pronounce it dulice). One of the red seaweed it's got a gorgeous salty irony taste and is a great reminder of my youth when my grandfather and I would gather lots of it and dry it out in the hedge around the hut.

These days I often usually just dry it, grate it and use it as an additive in food dishes, particularly stews and soups in which it gives a meaty salty taste.. 


So I gathered quite a bit, theres a lot more there than you think!


I then dried it out in the oven


Then ground it down, not to powder but more fine chunks. This little bag about 5 inches square is all thats left after the drying ! This will keep for a long time and can be added to any dishes that need a little extra kick of something different.


 

Sunday, 4 October 2020

Native oysters

 I've been spending more time along the coast again, doing a little beachcombing and seeing what the sea casts up and it's fun to find new things as the tide ebbs. This time I found a couple of native oysters. 



Now I'm not that keen on these as a food source, I'll eat them if I have to but much prefer the Pacific oysters that wash up on the beach from time to time, but even then I'd rather have clams or mussels.. nonetheless it shows the bounty of the seashore if you spend the time just looking. 

Sunday, 16 August 2020

Soapwort - SAPONARIA OFFICINALIS

 I was out for a dander near the coast recently and found some soapwort. Now this one is a little different than the one I've seen before so I'm assuming it's a garden escapee. Nonetheless it was quite prolific and pretty to look at



Same leaf configuration I've seen before but the petals are a little different, however I took some back to see if it had saponins that could lather in soft water..



I crushed the leaves, gave it a little rub between my hands and it lathered up very well.. A handy find.



Sunday, 2 August 2020

Bit of a sea Forage

Its been quite a while since I've been out along the coast looking for edibles so I recently got the chance to go out along the Ulster shore line in search of a meal


Gorgeous part of the world with lots of potential for sea foraging.


Selection of the finds after about 30 minutes, 


Purging them in clean salt water to get rid of the sand, the catch included, mussels, cockles, clams, scallops and whelks.


And steamed then garlic butter added,it was delicious. 

Sunday, 21 June 2020

Summer Solstice at the Hill of Tara

A few pics from the hill of tara, the ancient seat of the Kings of Ulster at this years summer solstice






I was more captivated by the numerous fairy thorns than anything else !

Monday, 25 May 2020

Natural right angled handled walking sticks

Every now and again mother nature gives you a gift. I often cut sticks to make walking sticks, staffs, wading poles etc and I'm always on the look out for something special. And today I cut two rather special sticks, as they both have perfectly naturally formed right angle handles.. rarer than hens teeth. I'm really pleased with these and they'll make lovely walking sticks after they're seasoned.



Thursday, 30 April 2020

Modifying a utility knife into a fillet knife

Sometimes you just need a filtering blade that's a little smaller than the normal 6 inch blade, for smaller fish and for removing ribs I like a 4.5 inch blade, so not being able to buy one like that I thought I'd modify a knife to make one.


I bought a couple of rockingham forge utility knives  these are great for the price, but I decided to modify one so that it is slimmer and more flexible.



I ground the spine down and curved the tip up to enable me to work round the bones more easily.
The bonus was it also made the knife much more flexible.



Now to catch the fish !!