Tuesday, 27 September 2016

A walk in the woods


The end of the Indian Summer has put the lid on the Tupperware box which is G.B. out of season, and watching the documentary filmed in Alleppo last night left us exhausted with impotent grief.

John also threatened to mothball Going Gently, and made this threat/announcement here on my blog. Unthinkable.

So today, I am going to spend a few hours in a forest in energetic meditation by going on my first mushroom hunt of the season. I haven't told H.I. this yet, partly because I feel guilty enough about taking the day off as it is, and partly because mushroom forays are just not meditative if you are not on your own. It would be like fishing at a garden party if you attempted it with more than one other.

Every year, the commercial pickers at The New Forest make life more difficult for amateurs than the last. It is almost war there now, I am told, and the situation hasn't improved with the arrival of all the Eastern Europeans who have been brought up to hunt for the family since they were kids.

It has got so bad in these big forests, that most of them have imposed a blanket ban on picking of any kind, but the lure of hard cash from restaurants means that the commercial lot ignore it completely. There is a fungal war about to break out in the woods.

The forest management have tried to make up for it by having official identification outings, but what is the point of trooping through the trees with twenty others, only to be shown mushrooms which are the best edible varieties, then told that you are not allowed to pick, let alone eat them?

If I return with just two good mushrooms, then I will do what I always do and have them as the centrepiece for tonight's dinner. Sliced Penny Buns (or Ceps, or Porcini)  or Hedgehog mushrooms browned in butter with maybe some scrambled egg on the side is a seasonal bonus which caps off a walk in the Autumnal woods wonderfully, but to go home empty-handed and exhausted is also satisfying to the soul.

Tomorrow, most of the specialist materials I bought yesterday (including a biocide...) for work are due to arrive. Tomorrow can wait.

31 comments:

  1. There are invariably one or two shootings or stabbings in the woods here. People become very protective.

    No chance of mushrooms here; no bloody rain for months.

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    1. We had rain but no mushrooms. It's a bit early yet, and the ground was sodden in places.

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  2. we have just had some solid rain so i expect the mushroomers to be out and about exploring their secret hords! Good luck!

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    1. I have never found rain or the lack of it to make any difference to mushrooms.

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  3. Wouldn't have a clue what is edible or poisonous. I did taste a sliver of black truffle once. Don't know if that is considered a mushroom, but it was very good.

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    1. Yes, it is a fungi - and the true black one does not grow here. You need a fatty food to bring out its flavour - like butter or cheese. I once had some black truffle cheese which was the most powerful flavour.

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  4. You've made a good decision to have a day in the forest, even if you don't bring any mushrooms home.

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  5. Our Indian Summer continues here.

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  6. Do you need a permit to pick mushrooms? We do here.
    Greetings Maria x

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    1. No, no permit, but you need permission from the landowner - which nobody bothers to get. In France, pharmacists are trained to identify mushrooms, and you can take them in for a free appraisal.

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  7. .... and, are there mushrooms still for tea ?!!! XXXX

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  8. A day of solitude is fine balm for the soul, especially when capped by a fine supper at dinner for two. I hope you find the woods reasonably empty.

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    1. There were a few people with dogs and a few pairs of women walking and chatting.

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  9. A fine autumn afternoon here....it lifts the spirits...as did winnie trying ti seal a kitkat
    I may stay a while longer

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    1. Oops - chocolate is bad for dogs... It was a bit rainy here yesterday, but still warm.

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  10. I no longer watch the news Tom/ I find it too painful as one feels inadequate at being able to do absolutely nothing.

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    1. I felt the same way, but I was glad that I watched the Alleppo documentary, even if I did feel powerless to help.

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  11. Fall here today is windy and irritating. No way to meditate with your hair whipping you blind.But still I'm happy it's cooler. Finally. A hot Irishwoman is not all that sexy

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  12. Hope you find what you're looking for in the woods.

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    1. I managed to lose myself - literally. Or at least I lost the path.

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  13. A handful of them little fella's will put you in a good frame of mind - providing you can find your car afterwards...

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    1. I no longer eat that variety. They hang around in your system for too long.

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  14. I will reply to all of your comments tomorrow, honest. Right now I am shagged out...

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    1. I thought you just went mushrooming..

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    2. I got lost in the woods - seriously!

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  15. You should be OK in the woods. It's always the dogwalkers that find the body!

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    1. The dogs usually, not the walkers - arf arf!

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