It’s time to start looking in earnest! Beata Skorek found this wonderful haul near Llyn Brenig in Snowdonia . . . Newsletter(20August2012)
Sadly these fantastic mushrooms do not dry well – but this is not generally a problem because to my mind they are the best of all mushrooms to fry lightly and serve on toast. It seems a bit of a cheat to give this as a recipe, however, so here is an unusual canapé or starter.
It is probably no exaggeration to say that most English canals, rivers and lakes now teem with alien signal crayfish. These originally come from America, but were brought here in the 1970s as ‘freshwater lobster’. Some soon escaped and they are now a serious pest, not least because they carry a disease which is fatal to our native white clawed species.
These small sweet berries are nothing like the familiar cultivated versions which derive principally from North American relatives. Our wild variety shares the same characteristic trefoil leaves, however and is locally common, particularly on chalky soils. It is shade-tolerant and often springs up in large numbers, particularly in woodland after felling has disturbed the soil. Its taste varies widely, however, with the sweetest reputedly coming from those growing wild among limestone rocks where the reflected heat helps ripening. Similarly, they are often found in large numbers along old railway lines where the runners straggle across the clinker, benefiting from the warmer microclimate.
The aging process gets a bad press. One unsung benefit is that sleep requirements are at their lowest. At this time of year I often find myself bounding out of bed at dawn, drawn by the twin prospects of good weather and the imminent arrival the of the main mushroom crop . . . Newsletter(28August2012).
As Olympic fever hits the nation, the last week of proper heat is starting to pay fungal dividends. If anyone wants to read to the end there are boring details of readers’ offers on my publications and reminders about the autumn forays, but meanwhile, let’s cut to the much more important mushroom news . . […]
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