Posted in Dinner Party

Blackberry & Apple Chutney

Blackberries & Gubbeen

We’ve been making crumbles, pies and jams out of the wild blackberries in West Cork for the past couple of weeks now and yesterday I decided to try my hand at a chutney.  We love red onion relish with cheese in our house and I’m forever buying it but I’d never made it before so the time had come to experiment.  Being out of balsamic vinegar The Gravy Man was dispatched to the local shop to buy some and even though they were out of it he returned triumphantly with a half a bottle.  The owner of the shop – Dermot Sheehan – very kindly gave us his own bottle from his kitchen at the back of the shop.
Blackberry Bush
The blackberries were easily foraged from the ever-ripening bushes that line the laneways of the village.

West Cork Laneway
Goleen West Cork

Goleen village is unspoiled and sits close to Mizen Head.  If you get the chance to visit you will return forever.

You will need:
2 medium red onions
2 tbsp olive oil
300g blackberries
200g cooking apple (1 medium sized)
150g brown sugar
75ml balsamic vinegar
FInely chop the red onion and add to the 2 tbsp of olive oil heated in a saucepan over a medium heat.
Continue to gently cook and soften the red onion in the oil for 10 minutes.
Peel, core and dice the apple and wash the blackberries.
Add the apple and blackberries to the softened onions and cook with a lid on over a low heat for 10 minutes until the apple is getting soft.
Remove the lid and add the brown sugar and balsamic vinegar, turn the heat to high and stir well until it begins to bubble.  Turn the heat down to a simmer and allow to cook and reduce for 25 to 30 minutes.
Store your chutney in sterilised jars.
Blackberry & Apple Chutney
Blackberry & Apple Chutney on Gubbeen CrackerBlackberries, Apple & GubbeenChutney UpClose
Enjoy with some great cheese.
Til next time, Sheila.

Posted in Events & Adventures in Food

Goleen Festival

Crepes with nutella from the crepe van have been sustaining my children for the past week along with ice-cream and slushies from the ice-cream van and chips and burgers from the local chipper ‘Richies’ in Goleen Village.  The truth is there has been so much going on in Goleen Village for the past week that they just about make it home to rest their heads at night-time.  We did supplement this diet somewhat with the odd bbq and fry up at home and of course roasted pork from the Pig Roast outside Denny O’Meara’s pub on Sunday. (Oh and I’m forgetting about last week’s home-made brownies that managed to stretch until yesterday.)  Apart from that there hasn’t been much home cooking going on. 

The Goleen Festival began on Sunday 8th August with a Vintage Car Drive from Goleen to Crookhaven followed later in the day by the Route to Crook 5 mile road race.  (The kids race was 2.5 miles).  My better half has made half-hearted promises to stick with me through other races but then his testosterone gets the better of him and he leaves a path of road dust for me to follow however this time he came through and we crossed the line together (me a toe in front!) 

The week progressed at a busy pace with plenty of sporting and fun activities for all.  They included; a table tennis tournament, charades, pub talent singing contest, art workshops, athletics, treasure hunt, art competition, fancy dress, fishing competition, historical guided walk, children’s races, busking competition, peddle carting and tug o’war. 

On the food side of things there was a Cookery Demonstration by Carmel Somers (of The Good Things Café, Durrus) at Barleycove Hotel and on Sunday there was a Pig Roast outside Denny O’Meara’s pub.  The roasted pork was served in a roll with a tasty potato stuffing, coleslaw and a choice of relishes. 

2010 Tug O'War Champions - Barleycove Giants




Music on the street went on well into the night on Friday, Saturday and Sunday night and luckily this year the weather was on our side.  The festival closed when the sun went down after one of the hottest days of the summer with the crowning of the new Queen of Goleen.  A tremendous amount of time, hard work and commitment is shown by the organisers and I hope that they realise how appreciated it is by the blow-ins who visit during the summer. 

Til next time, Sheila