Monthly Archives: April 2011

Bottling Event Sunday 8th May

THIS EVENT IS BOOKED OUT

Don’t bottle out !

Roll up for a masterclass in pickling, preserving and bottling with doyenne Janet Drew. Janet is described as the original Irish artisan chutney and preserve maker and is opening up her kitchen to Sugarloafers and friends, who intend preparing and preserving wild foods for Wild & Slow later in the year.

Janet will cover basic principles and details on, cleaning, preparing, cooking, temperatures, hot-bottling and sterilising techniques. She will also give a demonstration on one of her production runs. You will need to bring an apron, and crucially a pencil and notepad. Ask questions and take notes.

Janet has also very kindly offered jars and bottles at trade prices.

Venue: Janet’s Country Fayre, Unit 13B, Bullford Business Campus, Kilcoole, Co. Wicklow. http://www.janetscountryfayre.com
Time: 11am for 2 hours approx
Date: Sunday 8th May

Places are limited and booking is essential – book a placey by emailing sugarloaf@slowfoodireland.com

Wild Sweet Violet Flowers

Some Sugarloafers went on a brief recce mission in fantastic weather, to decide on a final location for next weekends Wild Garlic Picking, and they passed these beautiful, vibrant flowers in a hedgrow. Growing about 30-40cm tall with broad leaves Sweet Violets are widely distributed, and instantly recognisable in most ditches.
We picked a few dozen, carefully making sure we had not stripped any one plant and leaving plenty dispersed throughout the ditch for the bees! The leaves of this plant may also be eaten and are a rich source of vitamins A & C. The petals and flowers may also be used infused in milk, or as a delicate flavouring for rice puddings.  In uncompromising Sugarloaf form, we decided to go for the whole flower option, and see what we’ve ended up with!

A delicate job

Dusted in Sugar

The next task was far more delicate, involving covering completely the flower petals (and fingers) with beaten egg whites. This is especially important if you’d like to keep the flowers, as it will glaze them. After this they were dusted all over with caster sugar, and left on parchment to dry. Once dry, they can be kept in airtight containers. They will be ready to taste in a few days time, and if there are any leftovers, we will bring some along for early birds to taste next Sun…..