Using up your apple and kale glut

Posted on: 31st August, 2017

Category: A Flavour of West Cork

Contributor: Karen Austin

Autumn in August?  Where I grew up it was still summer. I have disputed this fact for years but this year I must finally concede, as this autumn arrived at the beginning of August.

The apples are dropping from the trees, we’re tripping over beans and the kale is lush.

Today I cannot see further than the hedge, as we are wrapped in a ‘tropical’ mist. I’m not too sure who came up with that name but it’s warm and wet and making the weeds grow like crazy. The kale is loving it.

The kale has had five-star treatment this year. It’s one of our main crops, as we seem to be able to use infinite amounts in salads, tarts and soups.

We built a cage to protect the plants from the butterflies, whose eggs hatch into caterpillars, which decimate the crop the moment you take your eyes off it. It’s working really well, caterpillar-free, and the plants are healthy and intact

We grow three varieties; Red Russian – which has frondy red and green leaves, Asparagus Kale, which is big leafed and cabbage green and Cavolo di Nero, which has long dark blue green super crinkly leaves. They really are quite beautiful.

Although I like them all and we swop around which kale we use, Asparagus kale (from Brown Envelope Seeds) is my all-time favourite

Kale is right up there on my list of best veg to grow, as apart from their beauty and nutritional benefits, they are also a ‘pick and come again’ plant. Once the plants are established they need to be picked regularly to keep them from thinking their job is done.

We’ll be picking the kale through the winter. The growth does slow down with the colder weather and longer nights but it’ll chug its way through the winter and burst back in full production when there’s more daylight.

Here’s a recipe using our kale and apple glut.

It’s quite a loose recipe, the amounts depending on the size of the fruit and veg. Massaging the kale with dressing is an important step though and a little time to relax and marinate after is always a plus.

Kale and Apple Salad with Honey Toasted Almonds


For the almonds;

150g whole blanched almonds

1dsp olive oil

1tsp runny honey

1tsp tamari or soya sauce


Heat a small frying pan, add the olive oil and the blanched almonds then toss together. Keep the heat at medium and stir the almonds until they are golden brown. Take off the heat, add the honey and the tamari/soya sauce and toss until the almonds are coated. The heat of the pan will caramelise the honey and tamari/soya sauce. Tip onto a plate and leave to cool

For the salad:

15-20 kale leaves

2-3 eating apples

50mls olive oil

50mls cider vinegar

1 tsp tamari or soya sauce

1 tsp runny honey


Wash the kale and shake dry. Pull the leaves from the stems. Discard the stems and roll up the leaves, a few at a time, like a cigar then cut into fine ribbons with a sharp knife.

Whisk the olive oil, cider vinegar, tamari/soya sauce and honey together. Pour three quarters over the kale and massage the dressing into the leaves with you hands.

Leave aside for 15 minutes and repeat the massage.

Wash the apple, no need to peel. Cut the apple into quarters, remove the core and cut into little wedges. Toss the apple in the remaining dressing.

To assemble the salad put the kale in a shallow bowl then scatter the apples and almonds on top.

Yum. A bowl of autumn goodness!

Our Autumn Cooking programme is now available.

We’ll be kicking off with recipes from the Mediterranean, just in time to enjoy the last of the summer’s bounty.  If you are interested please pop into the shop, phone or email me

Autumn greetings – although I have to admit I’m hoping for an Indian summer for September!


Lettercollum Kitchen Project

22, Connolly Street, Clonakilty

phone 0238836938

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Wave to Mary! 65-year-old Mary Nolan Hickey is running around the entire coast of the Island of Ireland to raise funds & awareness for the RNLI and is currently running the roads of West Cork.

Mary is the only woman to have completed every single Dublin Marathon (all 38 of them). She’s also completed the grueling Marathon des Sables in the Sahara Desert, known as the ‘toughest foot race on earth’.

To mark her 50th year involved in Athletics Mary is taking on her biggest challenge yet (even though she thought she’d already done that when completing the Dublin Marathon when she was over six months pregnant!) She wants to raise as much money as possible for the RNLI.

Mary started her epic journey in Arklow, Co. Wicklow, on New Year’s Day. She aims to cover up to 5000 kilometers, using coastal routes, over the next five months. She hopes to get back in time to get her first pension payment in June when she turns 66.

Mary will stop off at as many RNLI stations as possible, on her once in a lifetime adventure. As far as she knows no other woman has ever taken on this challenge.

Speaking about her journey Mary said:

“I wanted to prove that age not a barrier. Coming from a coastal town I have a deep affinity with our local RNLI station & volunteers and have huge admiration for the brave men and women who risk their lives to save lives at sea”.

Mary, who’s depending on the goodwill of communities along her route for accommodation, has been astounded by the response so far. “The support has been overwhelming,” she said. “I have met the most amazing and encouraging people along the way”.

To see more about Mary’s adventures, and to pinpoint her location today, check out her Facebook page - rnlilapofthemap2018.
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20th March, 2018  ·  


This Saturday the 10th March, will see some magically curious activity as local Bandon national schools compete in a Wizarding Harry Potter Quiz. The prize will be the beautiful Bandon Banshee Perpetual Cup.

As any Harry Potter enthusiast knows, Bandon has the unique honour of having a character named after the town. The Bandon Banshee, was referred to as the nemesis of Gilderoy Lockhart in the Chamber of Secrets. The book grossed €60 million in sales and was the 7th highest earning film of all time.

Locals, looking to enhance the town for young people, saw the quiz as an ideal way promote the connection. The universally absorbing book series brings young readers on a huge adventure of magic, adversity and triumph. It is also an exploration of loyalty and friendship, good and evil – so it is not only popular way to engage young people, it is a hugely positive connection.

Zoe Tennyson, one of the organisers said they were delighted with the response from schools who ran a qualifying quiz as part of World Book Day. On Saturday Bandon Town Hall will be transformed into Hogwarts Great Hall, with proceeds going Bandon Playground Group, and to cover costs of the event.

Bandon Books will be rewarding the winning team with vouchers to each of the five members. The Bandon Banshee, or Bean-sidhe na Bandaan Perpetual Cup will be hotly contested – but which school will the Banshee go to??

If you have any questions please call Marguerite McQuaid on 087 900 9494
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8th March, 2018  ·  

Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition 23 February 2018

The inaugural Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition will take place in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen this Friday 23rd February. As part of Engineers Week 2018, leaders and members of Ballineen Foróige Club have organised an exhibition which will showcase a diverse and exciting range of engineering projects that have been undertaken by members of the club over the last few weeks, with the aid of leaders and a number of local engineers.

With the aid of local pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, along with the support of STEAM Education, a UCC based company focused on promoting science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths subjects in primary schools, Ballineen Foróige has been engaging members and leaders in all things engineering over the last six weeks. From researching, designing, and prototyping a project based on local problems, to participating in various workshops on coding and careers in engineering, Ballineen Foróige have been extremely busy in preparation for the exhibition this coming Friday night.

On the night itself, Michael Loftus, Head of Engineering at CIT, Fintan Goold, Manager at Eli Lilly and All-Ireland Cork winning Footballer, along with Geraldine Coughlan of GCA Architects & Designers, a local business, will act as judges on the night, evaluating the different engineering projects and offering some advice to the members of the club. Also in attendance will be the CEO of Foróige Seán Campbell, along with a number of local councillors, TD’s and Senators.

Leading the team of Ballineen Foróige leaders organising the event, is Rebecca Dwyer, a bioprocess engineer at Eli Lilly. Rebecca recently became a leader in the club and says that Ballineen Foróige Young Engineer Exhibition 2018 “promises to be a fun, challenging and rewarding experience for all involved and we look forward to welcoming parents, relatives, friends and members of the public to the exhibition and film screening on the evening of Friday 23rd February.” Overall, there are twelve projects entered in the exhibition. One project, led by Cian Kennefick and Charlie Nolan, members of the starting out club, examines the possibility of installing speed ramps on the road near local primary school. Fourteen-year-old Charlie says he got involved in the project as it was something to do and it gets you thinking. Cian says the most exciting part of the project was the building of the prototypes.

Both Cian and Charlie, along with thirty other members of the club will display their projects this coming Friday 23 February in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen. Doors open at 8pm and the event runs until 10pm. All are welcome to attend, and admission is free. Catering, including tea and coffee, will be provided on the night.
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20th February, 2018  ·  

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Main course

17th February, 2018  ·  

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