This is a book that I always recommend on my fermentation workshops. Its written by the Irish author Dearbhla Reynolds and is packed full of easy to follow recipes. And not only how to make the ferments, but what to do with them!
I spent many a fermentation crazed 3 or 4 day and night frenzy whipping up her recipes.
Here is a Rice Miso Breakfast idea that I am going to make in the morning:
Doesn’t it sound good? Are you a savoury breakfast lover also?
In conjunction with the book or instead of, another resource of hers that I cannot recommend highly enough is her online course: Saucy- The Secret of Sauce. I love it because even I am guilty of having soggy kimchi at the back of the fridge or preserved lemons lingering and languishing in my pantry- unsure of how to use them to their potential. This course gives you 26 saucy recipes of how to use ingredients like those to transform them into incredible tasting and probiotic live sauces.
We spent a full day and night soaking and cooking kilos and kilos of beans in preparation for the workshop.
There were lots of lovely folk in attendance: lots of nutritionists, chefs, beginning to advanced fermenters, and all around cool people.
Here are some images of the workshop. I’d highly recommend a workshop with Robin if you are interested in expanding your knowledge of the magic that is koji.
We all went home with our own jars of sweet miso- and it should be ready to taste in 6-8 weeks.
On a totally separate but very important aside- we were lucky enough to eat the best Indian food I’ve ever tasted on this trip. EVER! My tastebuds almost couldn’t cope. And it just looked like a nondescript bog standard take-away. If you are in Belfast you must taste this food! Bites of India at 97 Ravenhill Road. I will be dreaming of that dinner for a long time to come!
There are soo very many books that inspire me and that I learn from. Here is a small selection of books and authors whom I admire and respect. Among many others! I’ll do more posts with other books to share with you another time as well.
This is one book post of many: as I am a huge book-aholic! It’s an addiction that I am happy to feed. There are more book posts here in my blog and on Instagram.
I get asked so often to recommend books and resources that I like to learn from. The following are some excellent places to start!
Hedgerow Medicine by Julie Bruton-Seal and Matthew Seal. The book focuses more on medicinal plants, how to identify, harvest, process, recipes. A great place to start from and a beautiful book, full of recipes and methods to use these local wild plants as medicine. (Plus, having met them a couple of times- they are beautiful people!)
River Cottage Mushrooms by John Wright. A great beginners guide to edible fungi and their dangerous lookalikes. I also enjoy listening to his other Foraging books on Audibles.
Edible Mushrooms by Geoff Dann highly recommended.
Trees in Britain by Roger Phillips (also any or all of his Foraging books, he’s a legend, who sadly just passed recently). If you’re interested in mushrooms, you’ll soon learn that you need to know the trees!
The Forager Handbook by @miles_irving_wild_food High end and Chefy recipes and an excellent resource of edible wild foods found in the UK and Ireland. A fellow Association of Foragers member. Not a beginners book I would say but it’s a great compilation of wild plants and elaborate recipes.
Eat Weeds Cookbook by @eatweedsuk Robin Harford. Another Foraging wild food legend and fellow AoF member. His website is comprehensive and I’d recommend signing up to his mailing list.
Extreme Greens Understanding Seaweeds by Sally McKenna a great book with seaweed ID and delicious easy to use recipes to incorporate seaweeds into your every day diet.
New Wildcrafted Cuisine by @pascalbaudar I love all of his books, a pioneer in new wild food processes including Fermentation. Follow him on Instagram and you can also sign up for his online classes.
@alysf Alys Fowler The Thrifty Forager. Beautiful simple to follow book, she has another one about preserving also. Great for urban foraging.
Botany in a Day @thomasjelpelI’m excited to be learning more about identifying plant families with this book. He also sells a card game to help learn these skills.
I was fortunate to take Joe up on an offer to visit his woodland. Joe lives on a farm in Tipperary and his family planted up some of the fields with forestry in March 2000 as part of a long term plan to reinstate the native woodland habitat.
When Joe, Eimear and Selina were telling me that there was a huge abundance of fungi there, to be honest I thought, yes, there are so many fungi in so many places – yet I was not prepared for what we came across!
In my naiveté I totally underestimated the drive to Tipperary from Wicklow, in my mind it was an hour at most. However it was well worth it, not only for the fungi, but to spend a surprisingly lovely day with really special people! Joss, Anna, Manini, Jamie, Joanne, Anna, Selina, Eimear, Joe and myself.
It was a wet and soggy 25 October when I arrived after a 2.5 hour drive there. I was greeted by Joe’s warm smile and a sputtering campfire that Joe had gone to much effort to light along with a gazebo and tables to meet everyone around.
We laid out some of my favourite mushroom books, some dried mushrooms samples and medicinal mushroom tinctures to discuss and introduced ourselves to each other. We then headed out to explore the undergrowth of the Norway Spruce plantation. It was like entering an enchanted fairy glen and we were immediately greeted by literally hundreds of thousands of mushroom fruiting bodies.
Mushrooms in crazy abundance amongst a Norway spruce plantation in Tipperary- have you ever seen anything like it? I haven’t! This was in every direction!
Thank you to Anna and Selina for some of these images!
I feel very fortunate to have crossed paths with and spent time with the formidable Judith Hoad. I first met this woman in 2003 when I was studying Naturopathy at CNM in Dublin.
She made a strong impression and years later I tracked her down once again and this time committed myself to a long drive up to the wilds of Donegal for a long weekend every month for six months.
Myself and four others were amongst the last to attend Judith’s “Natural Medicine for Householders” course around her kitchen table, next to a warm wood burning range at her off grid cottage way up there in the wild lands of rural Donegal.
It was a transformative experience for me, and one that I can say with certainly changed the course of my life. The exposure to her intentional off grid and simple living was eye opening and sparked my passion in living in alternative ways.
We spent many afternoons around Judith’s kitchen table, learning from her hard won wisdom of experience. Judith was nearing 80 years old and had learned all she knew the hard way, experience, intuition, books but limited access and certainly no internet.
She generously passed on her knowledge to us, as we sat in rapt attention. She is a tough taskmaster and you have to have thick skin at times if she gets cross! And at the same time, we learned about the food that grew in her garden, both cultivated and wild. We learned how to make salves, creams, lotions, tinctures and decoctions.
We were served delicious healthy soul food full of love and care and received her cookbook of favourite recipes at the end of the course.
Ill always be grateful for having had this opportunity.
I have very few photos of that time but here are a few: