BBQ At Dooney Rock

A different Bards In The Woods meet-up to conclude our 2015 season. Dooney Rock Woods is currently my favourire out of all of the woods and forests we go to. I thought it would be wonderful to offer our last get together as a BBQ Picnic rather than the walk and picnic we usually do.

One problem, though, well for the blog, is that my photos of the day were not very good. So many thanks especially to Val Robus, author of Magnumlady blog, for being present and sharing her amazing photography, plus help from Claire Louise Knifton and Meg Rybicki.

So here is the beautiful place where we are having our BBQ picnic ...

Before going to the woods and BBQ, I did some considerable food preparation before going. Normally, I would prepare one thing and take it along for the picnic table, but I did feel this would be a special event. So on the menu, from me ...

Nut sausages ...

These are crushed hazelnuts, pecans and cashews, half a spelt soda bread that was going hard so it was grated, sage, thyme and rosemary from the garden, leeks, red onion, garlic, pepper, smoked chilli, coconut oil and bonded with potato flour. 

Soup ...

All sorts in this, carrots, turnips, parsnips, beatroot, tomatoes, sage, onion, thyme, garlic, grated ginger, grated turmeric, olive oil, fennel, red onions, leeks, cumin, coriander, some water

Colcannon patties, as I thought Colcannon would be awkward ...

Mashed potato from the day before, including some butter and milk. To this added cabbage, dulse seaweed, leeks, chopped scallions, yoghurt, bonded to make patties with potato flour. Really they are a sort of 'bubble and squeak when griddled.

Fairy Apple Muffins and Out Of This World Cookies ...

For the muffins, wholemeal spelt flour, baking soda, nutmeg, grated ginger, raisins, dried citrus fruit, chopped tangy apples, crushed hazelnuts, a little brown sugar, generous amounts of honey, lime juice and yoghurt to activate the baking soda, egg, butter and coconut oil to moisten the dough

For the cookies, wholemeal spelt flour, some cream white flower, nutmeg, allspice, mace, raisins, dried citrus fruit, lime juice, butter and coconut butter to moisten the dough.

I did not get time to make soul cakes and autumn butter, and I had also prepared, but left behind, oatmeal coated herring.

So off to Dooney Rock Woods we go ....

First to arrive, well I thought first to arrive, was Val, the Magnumlady. What a gift having Val present. Mainly because from now on I have become very dependent on her stunning photos to make this blog possible. 

Val has also written a lovely colourful and blushfully complementary blog post about this afternoon. It is well worth a read ...

Into the woods we go with our foods, grills, and eating accessories ... 

Down these well worn steps ...

and by the Lough Gill shore.

Cloudy day but mild for end of October. Barely any wind, but no midges!!!

Autumn leaves colours looking spectacular ... before wind, any day now, will strip those leaves from the trees.

Looking in another direction, a spot where some Bards have performed here with us in the past. This is always a beautiful setting.

Jan lights the pumpkin she brought along to sort of mark our territory and be a welcome to those who came here.

I did not mention that we were not the first here. Already arrived were Fionula and her husband and son, who's name escapes me (I am asking for it).

Three charcoal and wood fires lit ...

Jan turned up in an outstanding witches outfit, and looking like an apparition here. 

Andy carries our solo griddling utensil, I had left mine at home ...

Beautiful dogs came along too. Here is Solly getting a whiff of something good.

and Pixie fully attentive to what may be offered?

Fionula's husband (trying to recall his name again), reading his poem, Michaelmas Mood, followed by Autrumn Woods by James Tippett ..

Fionula follows on with The Far Field by Theodore Roethke

and then Fionula explains the size of something ...

Then Jan follows with October by Henry Ward Beecher

Claire reads a beautiful short story, video soon ...

Michele with no reading this time, but loved being there, and we loved her being there too.

I shared Sleeping Awake and Duir The Oak

and Andy finished off with a humoured short ditty ... well wait for the video.

Time to eat, and the nut sausages go on the flame

Lots of wonderful things, a huge abundance of food. Michele brought various fish. Jan has some delicious tuna, and there were also my colcannon patties. 

This was followed by an assortment of desserts. Jan's pumpkin pie seemed to finished before main course items left the grill. 

Just as the food was finishing and grill embers dying, and people left, more people turned up.

There was Meg, a founder and leader of the Save Our Planet Awards.  

photo by Meg Rybicki

photo by Meg Rybicki

photo by Meg Rybicki

All three of these women stayed on after we left to soak up the quiet dusk of the day.

Thank you heartily for your quote about today ..

Fionula said ...

"Our family of 3 went to Dooney Rock Woods for the meetup BBQ Bardic session on the 25th October 2015 and had a fantastic time. We were made so welcome and had an opportunity to listen to and contribute towards poetry and stories in one of the most beautiful woods I have been to. The homemade veggie sausages were fab and so wholesome it made me want to make some myself. Thank you for the pumpkin pie and the plentiful food, it was an absolute delight! We can't wait to have our next meeting. It makes me want to 'up' my game and make some adventurous food to share with the group. There are so many beautiful places to walk and explore in this part of Ireland, I am so glad to have found this group who are such good company and share our love for woods. Thank you for making our week! Hope to keep in touch until the next meetup. Fionula"

Val, Magnumlady said ..

"John is the man behind Bards in the Woods. It was the first time I met him yesterday and he’s such a nice man, very friendly and welcoming. In fact everyone there was really nice, I felt very much at home. John reminds me of a boy scout, prepared for everything. He had a BBQ where he cooked nut sausages and colcannon that he’d made. Jan had made delicious pumpkin pie. There was also soup, fish, marshmallows, muffins and tea. It was a real feast! ...  It really is a lovely,peaceful, relaxing way to spend an afternoon."

Again, click here for the Magnumlady blog post

You may also enjoy reading about our past 
Bards In The Woods meet-ups at Dooney Rock Forest ...

click to read July 2015 visit here  42 pics

click to read July 2014 visit here  15 pics & 2 videos

click to read March 2014 visit here  35 pics


  1. Love reading the blog great images on the close of Bards for the year , I do hope to get back on track to join y'all next season ive missed out on but hey roll on next season .. Many Thanks to John Wilmott a trouper keeping it all going John yer a Star x Tina

    1. Many thanks Tina. You was missed, your poetry was missed. We miss Charlie too :-) . Aiming to do a lot more islands next year as afternoons on islands were a big hit this year.


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