Monday, 17 September 2007
Like star crossed lovers, Meeester and Misssy held hands as they passed into drowsy sleep not knowing if they would see another day. Who knew what the night would bring?
So, it’s mushroom hunting time in the vicinity of the Village of the Flying Martinis. Hooray! As much fun as it all is, and as many books you have read on the subject, there’s always that element of doubt.
Poisoning is such a medieval kick ass way to go, that's what I say. And wild mushrooms are GOOD!
It was not exactly a bumper crop this year, as it turned out. I was also disappointed to discover that my fourteen week old puppy does not have a natural ability for truffle hunting. Bah! Shoulda bought a pig.
A wet summer is good for the production of fungi, but apparently equally as important is a little warmth. It has not been warm in these parts for a couple of years now. It’s only a matter of time before some khaki suited anthropologist turns up here to make a documentary about the "Tribe that Lives Without Sunshine".
Despite the less than ideal mushie growing conditions, I was delighted to come away with a haul of some Chanterelles, lots of Hedgehogs, a couple of Ceps and a little Blusher. See below for photos of all in case you want to try a little Woodland Roulette yourselves (but don’t come crying to me if you die).
My personal top tip is to look for nibble marks of little animals on some of the mushrooms. If the animals can eat them, then so can you. Obviously, if there is a stiff dead mouse lying next to the batch you are investigating with foam dribbling out the side of his gaping mouth, then I'd move on.
We ate the mushrooms fried with some garlic butter and parsley on toast, but not without first teaching the kids how to contact the ambulance service and showing them where the insurance documents were stashed. The kids don't like mushrooms so we were assured of the continuance of the Flying Martini blood-line.
“Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall says only ever collect mushrooms if you’ve been on a course,” warns my sister.
“What rubbish. He’s only saying that because he’s got an online course he wants to punt,” say I.
“Yeah, fuck him. I say, chow ‘em down,” she immediately recants.
And they were excellent, I must say. If we were French or Italian, we’d all be out there snapping them up. But since we’re not, there’s plenty around for those game enough to get out there and collect them for tea.
All the same, on Sunday morning both Meeester and Misssy say the same thing as they wake up from a good night’s sleep.