Irish Pies and Grove vs Orchards

March came in like a lion and hopefully will go out like a lamb. We had hail and high winds in early March. Today we have misty gentle rain. We have finally finished pruning the Olive Grove. In Italy, they say that you prune an olive tree so that a swallow can fly through without touching its wings. A beautiful metaphor that helps us better understand how to prune trees. Keep your pruning shears sharp and clean. We use bleach to sanitize the shears between types of olives. This prevents the possibility of transmission of fungus. It is simply good grove hygiene.

It is a grove because the olives do not lose their leaves, an orchard (like apples) lose their leaves in Winter. Olives are always green, one of the reasons we planted these trees. They shimmer in the rain. Long walks in the grove are quiet and peaceful, except for our curious chickens and the wild birds. Last month we spotted a Great Horned Owl perching on the highest peak of the Mill. It had a deep hooting voice and flew on silent wings.

The vegetable seeds are sprouting in the greenhouse. The exuberance of new growth is energizing. New spring radishes with salt and butter, an Irish tradition,  are a huge favorite of mine. Now that we have a little greenhouse, we can extend our growing season. Lovely micro-greens now garnish our luncheon and tasting plates.

The wasabi arugula has an amazing taste. The seeds and the picture are from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds a wonderful source of seeds and information.


In the Kitchen in the Grove

We are busy making a simple potato, bacon, onion, and herb pie for St Patrick’s Day. This is an amazingly simple delicious savory pie to serve with a glass of Guinness Stout. If you do not like bacon, you can substitute smoked whitefish. No substitutions on the Guinness during March.


1 Prepared pie crust or make your own.

1 large Russet Potato,  sliced thin

1 White Onion, sliced thin

1 lb. Bacon cut into pieces (smoked is delicious in this dish)

Herbs  3 tsp total of Thyme, Oregano, Rosemary Vary to your taste

Olive Oil Pendolino ½ cup

½ cup heavy cream

Salt and Pepper to taste – always use fresh ground cracked pepper.



Prepare your crust in a tart pan with a removable bottom

Thinly slice the potato, I like russets for this dish. Starchy and tasty.

Par boil for 3 minutes in salted boiling water till just tender.

Remove  drain and pat dry.

Sauté the onion in olive oil until translucent.

Add the bacon and cook

Add the herbs, and potatoes

Mix very gently

Add salt and pepper to taste

Place the filling into the prepared pie crust

Add ½ cup heavy cream

Bake for 25 minutes at 350 ° F

Remove and allow to cool


Figure 1  The filling for the Irish tart


Figure 2 Tart pan with removable bottom

Figure 3 Place the crust in the tart pan



Figure 4 Finished pie before baking

Figure 5 The finished pie ready to serve

Enjoy good food!