2018 Season

We are only running courses in November this year.  Due to climate change, November is more reliable for finding mushrooms than October, which in past years was the most productive month. For the last two years October has not been good for mushrooms, last year in particular the only ones that could be found were … Read more

Scallops and chestnut butter

Ingredients, to feed two. For the scallops: 1 tsp olive oil 1 shallot, peeled, finely sliced 75g/2½oz butter, softened ½ lemon, zest only 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh chervil 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh chives 45g/1½oz chestnuts, finely chopped salt and freshly ground black pepper 6 scallops, cleaned   For the salad ½ tbsp wholegrain mustard ½ tbsp good quality white wine vinegar 1½ tbsp … Read more

Rowan Berry Jelly

Rowan berries are prolific, so easy to collect. They are packed with vitamins A and C.  This is the traditional accompaniment to serve with venison or other game.   Ingredients: 4lb/1.8 kg rowan berries, washed and stalks removed 3 lb/ 1.4 kg cooking apples, peeled, cored and quartered white sugar   Preparation: Put the apples … Read more

Quince paste (called Membrillo in Spain)

This recipe uses the large tree fruits, not the small ornamental quinces, which are not nearly so tasty.  Windfalls are good for this, just cut away the bruised parts. Ingredients: quinces, washed, peeled, cored, chopped. Keep the peel and cores. vanilla pod, split sugar, equal to the amount of cooked quinces. Preparation: Place the quinces … Read more

Sloe Gin

Making sloe gin is slow but not laborious. There’s no cooking required, just patience, as the sloes must steep in the gin.   Ingredients: 450g/1lb sloes 225g/8oz sugar 1 litre/1¾ pint gin   Preparation method: Traditionally, you should prick the skin of the sloes with a silver needle after waiting for the first frost of … Read more

Mushroom Ketchup

Mushroom ketchup is an old English favourite, though not often seen in the shops today. Here is an original recipe, from 1728. ‘Take a stew pan of the large flat mushrooms; set it on a slow fire, with a handful of salt; they will make a great deal of Liquor, which you must strain, and … Read more

Winter season?

This should be the quiet part of the year, when plants and fungi are dormant: but not this year! The weather has been so wet and mild that plants and mushrooms are coming up out of season.  As an example, Clifford found Wood Blewits and St. Georges Mushroom fruiting together in Kew Gardens on New … Read more