Life is odd at the moment but still carrying on in that relentless way it does. I have tried to write about my dads funeral but don’t have the words to do so…
Fly Ararics which are very pretty but not so useful - 18th September 2011
Fruiting plants haven’t done too badly this year; there seem to be plenty of apples, plums and berries weighing down the branches of trees along the road sides and in the woods and mushrooms are starting to appearing dotted around the forest waste land in the early mornings.
Wall garden; ever-bearing strawberries and 100's and 1000's tomatoes - 18th September 2011
In the garden the tomatoes are starting to ripen, the ever-bearing strawberries are still flower and bearing fruit and french beans are coming in in fits and starts.
Boston squash; possibly from one of the seeds I saved last year - 16th September 2011
At the allotment the squashes are doing well again and I have learnt from last year and harvested the ripe ones to allow the plants to put their energy into the un-ripened and forming fruit.
Autumn beauties; some of the mushrooms we haven't been eating - 18th September 2010
Well, I really hate to say this but Autumn seems to be well on its way. I am sure it is much earlier than last year, I hadn’t been on holiday yet last year and I remember that being mostly warm and sunny so it must be earlier this year.
Any way, with the cooler, damper weather comes the mushrooms and this year is shaping up to an excellent year for them. The green across the road is full of Puff Balls, up the lane the Ink Caps are out in force and we are collecting Parasols wherever we go and those are just the ones we can spot from a mile off.
Yesterday was a particularly good day and we filled a blue mushroom creat with Ink Caps, Parasols and Puff Balls without going anywhere other than on the normal rounds (e.g. checking the sheep, feeding the ponies, etc.) so hopefully in the next few weeks a mushrooming trip can be fitted in.
Autumn picking; Ink Caps, Parasol and Puff Balls - 18th September 2010
Rhys made yesterdays pickings into a lovely wild mushroom soup which we had for dinner.
I finished making mushroom kechup with the mushrooms that weren’t eaten on toast the other day. It tastes a little too vingery really but is ok.
I VERY loosely followed a recipe for it from Food as Gifts by Jo Marcangelo which is a lovely book that I got from a LETS meeting a while ago.
Ingredients: 2 ib (1kg) large, open mushrooms, 1 oz (25g) sea salt, 1 level teaspoon black peppercorns, 1 level teaspoon whole allspice, 10 cloves, piece of root ginger, 1 pint (600ml) vinger
1. Cut off the bottom of the mushroom stalks and discard. Break them up into small pieces and place in a bowl. Sprinkle with salt, cover and leave to stand for about 12hours. 2. put the mushroom mixture in a saucepan and mash up. crush the spices and add to the pan along with the vinger. Bring to the boil and leave to simmer for 30minutes. 3. Pour the mixture into a blender and puree it. 4. Pour into hot, sterilised bottles, leaving a 1inch (2.5cm) headspace, seal while hot with screw caps. 5. Put a thick wad of newspaper in the bottom of a large deep pan and then stand the filled bottles on this. Slacken the screw caps by a quarter of a turn and slowly bring the pan of water to the boil and simmer for 30minutes. Remove the bottles from the water, tighten up the tops, then cool and label. Store in a cool, dry place.
I didn’t weigh anything, I just used all of the mushrooms that were left, a good half a basket full, add what I thought was enough salt and ended up leaving it for over 24hours in the fridge. I left out the cloves as I couldn’t find any and the all spice was already ground. I left the mixture to simmer on the Rayburn and came back in from the garden almost an hour later, it really didn’t feel like an hour, and as it wasn’t meant as a gift and I think it will get eaten soon enough I didn’t bother with steps 4 or 5 but just put it in clean jars.
This morning I went fungi gathering on May Hill with some friends.
I haven’t been to May Hill for a few years but it is always something we mean to do come mushroom time, and this year we have started harvesting a crop of Parasol mushrooms from the garden which have started growing after we gathered some from May Hill, bought them home and never got round to doing anything with them and so chucked them out.
We were there a little late, and most mushrooms had started going over but there were planty of different types and it was a lovely walk.
We took my basket and a book that I found in a charity shop and, as well as the Parasols, came away with some Wood Blewitts, which are unusual because they keep their blue-ish colour after cooking.
Some of the Parasols have been eaten on toast with scambled egg and the rest I am going to try making some mushroom kechup with I think.