|Hay Makers, in 'The Far Bog'|
This field, known to us as 'the far bog' not an actual bog but low lying ground in the Bann Valley, that was revamped by my father who dug a drain wide enough to stand in and waist depth or more by the end that emptied into the Bann. It was a tough job, but my dad made light of it, one digging one shovelling (luckily one of the older brothers was a good shoveller).Lengthwise it was easily double of what can be seen of the hay-field in the photograph. Re-fenced and reseeded this was probably one of the first cuts of hay in that field and though my cousin had a 'hay kicker' the old boys still liked to get in there with the forks, it probably made the bottle of tea taste sweeter.
Meadowsweet, 25 Flower heads (about a compressed fistful)
1 litre of water
300 g sugar
Juice and zest of one lemon.
Put the flowers, sugar and water into a large pot, bring the contents slowly to the boil stirring so the sugar dissolves, remove from the heat add the lemon juice and zest, cover and leave to cool letting the flavours infuse, then strain through a fine sieve.Keep in the fridge until needed.
Dilute with sparkling water and serve with a twist of lemon and a few a ice cubes.
'Wild flowers of Ireland' A very useful site, here's link to Meadowsweet,