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A favourite place of mine to go for a walk is in one of the many woods that we have close to us here in east Cork. At this time of the year, the smell of wild garlic is just rampant, as some of the leaves get trampled on at the side of the paths. It's always a reminder for me to make the most of these wonderfully fragrant, flavourful leaves (and flowers) in my cooking - free and foraged food at its best.
 
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I adore seeing the first of the rhubarb leaves and the pretty pinky-red spears bravely pushing their way up out of the ground. It's always a sure sign that the bleakest bit of winter is behind us and that spring is well and truly underway.
 
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There were years, even decades, when Irish people were trying to run away from the world's preconceived notion that we were just a nation of bacon-and-cabbage eaters.
 
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I think my favourite seasonal transition must be that of winter leading into spring. The countryside wakes up out of its long, sleepy slumber. Green shoots and buds begin to appear. Nature yawns and stretches its branches, ready to begin a new year. As everything brightens up, I find myself craving colour and lightness, not just in my clothes, but in my food as well!
 
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