The Edible Flower: Three Years In

This weekend, on 26th July 2019, The Edible Flower became three years old. Yay! We’re still here, still standing and still smiling.

It’s become a tradition that on our Edible Flower anniversaries I publish a little financial summary of our business. It all started when, after our first year of business, I wrote this. It was surprisingly popular – despite containing graphs and a whole section on VAT!

I’m writing this at home, with our babies asleep upstairs, while Erin is out catering a wedding for 80 people. The highlight of the year was, of course, the birth of our two gorgeous twin girls, Forrest and Frida in October. However, I don’t think either of us have ever done anything as tricky as balancing running your own business and looking after babies. It’s so easy to feel like you’re doing both badly – all the time. And having enjoyed almost two years of running our business together, it’s also been incredibly hard to never have any time to work together. One of us is always working and the other looking after the babies. Or we try and do some work together while both looking after the twins – and the result is you do it all badly, or very very slowly.

Suddenly going from a family of two, to a family of four, puts pressure on the business to actually start making some money. And on that front, there is good news and bad news… Continue reading

Stuffed Breads with Greens & Wild Garlic

This recipe is adapted from Olia Hercules’ book Kaukasis. We made them with her in Ukraine last summer, or perhaps she did all the making and we did all the eating! They are truly delicious!

This Spring, these breads are seeing us through the hunger gap as a brilliant way to use kale, perpetual spinach & chard from the garden – some of the few crops still in plentiful supply. Adding in a bit of foraged wild garlic gives a little bit allium zing. Olia uses beetroot leaves in her recipe, which is great for the summer months. The leaves from beetroot, chard, perpetual spinach and sea beet are all pretty much interchangeable as they are all variations on the same plant Beta vulgaris. Continue reading

Recipe: Roast Butternut Squash, Mozzarella & Hazelnut Salad

Is there anything better to eat in the summer than a salad made with ripe, sweet tomatoes, handfuls of fragrant, aniseedy basil and good quality creamy mozzarella? It is perfect alongside hunks of rich olive oil focaccia as an al fresco lunch. As the days shorten and autumn rolls into winter it is impossible to get delicious tomatoes. Our homegrown tomatoes are long gone and the supermarkets have reverted to selling the watery ones that are available out of season.

If you get hold of good quality mozzarella it seems a shame to cook it (except perhaps on top of a wood-fired pizza) so I developed this mozzarella salad for the winter months; it is a celebration of the flavours of autumn – the sweet, nuttiness of roasted squash and creamy, crunchy hazelnuts paired with the soft, lactic acidity the mozzarella. Continue reading

Recipe: Mushroom, Rosemary & Pearl Barley Broth

I developed this recipe for a lovely couple who are getting married in Autumn 2018 and wanted a simple seasonal start the meal before a magnificent spread of sharing platters to be served as the main course. It reminds me of the beautiful broths we ate in Ukraine earlier in the year; there they are always finished with a dollop of smetana (a rich sour cream), so I’ve added some as a garnish to finish this dish. Sometimes a simple but delicious starter like this is the perfect complement to a dramatic and colourful main course. Continue reading

Nine tips for starting a supper club…

I think supper clubs are brilliant – for both the guests and the event organisers. The organisers curate a night, showcasing their favourite dishes in unusual venues and the guests get a one-off eating experience where the chef will generally be cooking and serving, as well as chatting about the food. It would be great if there were more supper clubs in Northern Ireland and beyond. Continue reading

The Story of a Supper Club

At the end of July 2018 we collaborated with curious cook and finder of weird and wonderful wild things to eat, Clare McQuillan (@claremcqq) for a Hedgerow Picnic Supper Club. We invited photographers Simon & Lorna (and their new little one Isla Mae – just a babe in arms) from Taca Works to capture the evening in images. They have created a magical ‘storyboard’ of the event and these are some of the images I want to share here. Continue reading