Friday, October 29, 2010

Stop UK Mega-Dairies

This is important - Follow this Compassion in World Farming link on the perils of mega-dairies proposed for the UK.

Apart from the cows never seeing the light of day, there is also human cost to these and they are a disaster for diversity: I have spoken to French farmers who are already suffering from being out-priced by Dutch mega-dairies, and for several years it has no longer been possible to find local butter in the UK, as ALL UK butter is made in 2 giant dairies, and small producers can't compete on price. Local, individual, unusual dairy products will disappear or only be available to the wealthy.

If you care about:

• Nice food
• Cows
• Not having all money from dairy products going to a very few rich businessmen rather than normal farmers.

...then please take literally a minute to fill out their email form to send to your MP. The link to send the form is at the bottom of this page.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Mushrooms That Look Like A Bum/ Arse/ Fanny - Any Ideas?

Anyone know what this mushroom could be? It is a boletus, pale yellow underneath, dark brown on top, a bit like a cep/ cèpe/ penny bun, but we found it growing in pairs so close together that it looks like bum cheeks (fanny or ass in American English). The stalks are separate, but the caps had often fused together.

Didn't get a pic, because we'd hoped to easily identify them and return to forage if they were edible, but today they had ALL been picked ...which implies that they are very edible! And to 'cap' it all off, I can't find a trace of them online...

Friday, October 15, 2010

My First Puffball

For so many years, I've been dying to try a puffball - their solid mushroom flesh looked so satisfying, and it would be so gratifying to find one and then have mounds of the flesh to gorge on, free of gills and stalks.

Well I didn't exactly find my first, because it was growing in some friends' garden. There were loads of them, slow-mo popping out of the ground, like bubbles appearing in boiling water. I chose a medium-sized one (about 15cm across) and carefully pulled it off the ground. It had such a small area joined to the earth compared to the size of the mushroom.

That was last night. At lunchtime today, I peeled half of it (slugs had been munching the outside) and sliced it. It was lighter and softer than expected. I then obviously had to try my first puffball fried in butter with garlic and parsley. It was soooo damn good! Soft and silky - not slimy - with the distinct mushroom flavour.

The other half will go in an omelette for my supper.

My puffball experience has added to the loveliness of my autumny day - the first really cold day after a run of hot weather, so I lit the fire before going out into the sunny, crisp, dewy, morning to the village market. When I got back, the house had warmed up and I sat working by the fire until my mushroom lunch...