On the summer solstice I have just found my first porcini and chanterelles – far earlier than I could ever have dreamed! Newsletter21June
Gin is all the rage these days – here’s a new take with a hedgerow flavour inspired by the Bristol-based ‘the other Andy Hamilton’ who is an afficionado of hedgerow drinks . . . 250 ml Vodka 30 Juniper berries 20 Coriander seeds 2 Cardomon pods 4 – 6 Slices of citrus zest (lemon, lime […]
I always think this meaty bracket fungus is the perfect beginner’s mushroom. Resembling a stack of bright yellow dinner plates on the side of a tree (usually oak), it’s highly visible, totally unmistakable and – better still – tastes great. This Indonesian inspired dish is an unusual, but delicious way of eating this substantial mushroom
Hops were first cultivated by the Romans not for the fragrant bitter female cones which we now use to flavour beer, but for the delicate tendrils that thread through hedges each spring. These have a wonderful aromatic flavour which is a wonderful early season alternative to asparagus. Ever since the days of Ancient Egypt they have been valued for their medicinal qualities and used to treat liver complaints and indigestion. Recent research suggests they can also reduce the effects of the menopause.
Ask most people about lampreys and the chances are you will be greeted with a blank stare. And even those that do know something about these strange fish are unlikely to know more than that they are supposed to lie behind one of Britain’s more bizarre royal fatalities. Let’s start with the facts. Lampreys are […]
Two new delicious species are out now . . . Newsletter16May
This is one of our most extraordinary mushrooms. Most people take one look at its sulphurous appearance (which is reflected in its scientific name, Laetiporus sulphureus) and assume it is toxic, but in fact it is an ideal species for the nervous beginner. This is because it is not only impossible to mistake, but it […]
This is a great way to use up excess milk and harness the delicate flavour of ramsoms at the same time . . . 1 litre Whole milk (you can use semi-skimmed) 100 ml White wine vinegar Handful of wild garlic leaves, finely chopped Salt (to taste) Bring the milk almost to boiling point. As […]
With its clown-like mixture of black, slate blue, brown and red plumage, the male redstart is one of our most striking summer visitors. For the next month or so his garish plumage will make him stand out from the foliage, but it is in flight that both he and his otherwise drabber partner are most recognisable thanks to their flashing brick-red tails . . .
Surely one of the greatest summer joys is to wake naturally as the skies begin to lighten? Lying silently, one listens as nature’s volume control slowly cranks up almost imperceptibly, as bird after bird launches into song, each the distinctive trill of a territorial male proclaiming ownership of a particular bush, shrub or tree. But while we may thrill to the sound, few of us can distinguish the individual species, not least because most are almost identical: small, thin-beaked and drab. These are the warblers, a large, but visually undistinguished group, but still genuine ‘diamonds in the rough’