Tim and I were out for a walk yesterday one Lower Moor Farm when we stumbled upon an enticing little cluster of big white mushrooms. I picked a few and, after a bit of internet research and some reassurance from my neighbor, I determined that they were field mushrooms and thus, quite edible. That evening, I turned my small harvest into a tasty mushroom pizza.
Good news – I’m still alive!
I’m not only alive, but I’m totally hooked on this mushroom gathering business.
I just filled in my membership form for the Cotswold Fungus Group and look forward to following in the footsteps of my new hero, John Wright, semi-resident forager of River Cottage.
Since moving to Orchard Cottage, I’ve been loving England more and more. This country seems to embrace outdoor adventure and wild food more so than America. Is that true? It could be that when I lived in America, I wasn’t at a point in my life where I could appreciate things like mushroom hunting and blackberry picking. Or it could be that now that I’m living in the country, I’m more constantly confronted by all that nature has to offer: blackberries in the hedgerows, sloe berries in the fields, and now mushrooms.
Consequentially, I just received a new book that should help me in my free food pursuits: Food for Free by Richard Maybe. Considered by many to be “the forager’s bible”, Food for Free is an illustrated guide to over 100 edible plants, fully described with pictures and recipes. Already I’ve enjoyed reading about the plants I’ve already identified. Now I’m looking forward to finding more as the seasons progress – bring on the elderflower champaign and gooseberry jam!