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weekend harvest

yesterday's dog walk provided
5kg apples for the week from ancient trees, 2 types of unknown id . one of them makes a good apple sauce.
kg field blewits . yummy.
1/2 kg elderberries to go with some of the apple.

today a shrooming venture to a 400 yr old broadleaved wood provided no edible shrooms ( lots of interesting ones though ) and rather nice alfresco snack of service tree fruit, tiny and you need to spit the seeds out but really nice in a not like anything else sort of way.

there were a lot of crab apples as windfall under a very old ,very very big one(800mm trunk 20m tall) tree but i cant be bothered with crabs at the mo as i have several tons of apples to get picked over the next couple of weeks so i will end up with plenty malus based stuff.
it isnít all for me most will end up at the foodbanks either as apples or as juice and hopefully i will have help gathering and transporting.
it is from the various old trees in the dormouse orchard and spread around the old asylum hospital site ,I recon i have found most of the fruit trees but each year i seem to find a couple more ,this year i found 4 "new" pear trees but failed to spot the very short window between not ready and pulpy wasp food on the floor
Rolling Eyes however next year they will be on bi weekly obs in september.

autumn is quite a nice forage time Very Happy
Mistress Rose

It is rather good isn't it. We have started to get some fungi in the woods now. I think we had some sort of inkcap, but it is disintegrating now, so a bit hard to tell. There are some little pink ones that I did ID once, but can't remember now, and a fair number of stump puffballs.

Not exactly 100% foraging but Thursday a colleague shot a pheasant where we were working & presented me with it
The next day he asked me if I like wild boar, to which my response was a positive midday he gave me the front passenger side quarter of a 50 kg boar, plus the liver & heart
I gathered about 50 snails yesterday & the same again this morning along with a kilo of fallen walnuts...OH is very happy, given she's French.
In all, we have enough to feed us for about 10 days; & given the current state of our finances, this is very welcome


walnut and boar liver pate would be on my menu from some of that, snails are ace but since i have reduced the slimey hoard they only present in ones and twos so they go flying rather than in the cleaning crock.

Just waiting for some reasonably price pork to arrive so we can continue with the patť...apparently it's a complicated recipe but we may try simplifying it a tad.
Meanwhile more snails gathered plus some chestnuts found on the footpath

Well done on the Elderberries. I didn't get any this year, the birds seems to have eaten them all. Little buggers. Mad

90kg of apples processed for us since w e before last.

5 hrs and 3 people have got about 300 kg for the foodbanks this week Cool more on saturday.

blewits and ceps in shrooming news

round here there seem to be more elderberries than the birds can manage, i have picked a few but dont like them as wine so i tend to take my share as flowers for cordial and cakes.

I had a nibbled lunch of a few lingering blackberries, a few elderberries, then came home with pockets stuffed with "feral" apples. Nice and sharp, but too big/sweet to be true crab apples.

Gathered a decent wheelbarrow full of apples from the neighbour this afternoon
Some green walnuts from work along with another bucketful of snails
Seems I may have missed the sloes this year, but everything seems a bit f***ed up weather wise
Also very few elderberries....anywhere it would seem

the sloe harvest round here has been very poor this year as well.

Quite a lot of chestnuts around but not quite ready yet.
Sloes/bullaces have some of last year's fruit still on them but pretty much nothing from this year.

More chestnuts than you can shake a stick at here

all on the ground in very prickly harnesses
Mistress Rose

Seems like a good year for chestnuts. We visited a place in north Hampshire last weekend and people were out after them. Haven't checked for sloes yet, but I have a couple of places that I use. I even found a few along a line that doesn't usually produce a couple of weeks ago too.

2kg chicken of the woods on a hounds birthday outing Laughing

we got a very nice chicken and some venison sausages as well but that does not really count

10 kg eating apples , little, russety, adams somethings
kg ceps , 3 nice field blewits and a tiny wood blewit.

and a lot of juicing / store apples for the foodbanks Cool

Yet more chestnuts
A couple of pocketfuls of walnuts
Three thrush-like birds given to me by my colleague who hunts
A bag of yesterday's bread from a client for the chooks
& a heap of branches for firewood gleaned from the roadside at work
Mistress Rose

I took a double look at where you were mousjoos, but seeing you were in France, I suppose any bird is fair game. I have just been re-reading 'A Year in Provence' and the section in there about hunting is rather amusing.

Not any bird MR, just most birds...
I knew an ex gamekeeper in W Sussex years ago & he ate rook, & blackbirds, amongst other things such as badger
The difference I've found between hunters here & those I knew in UK is that here they eat what they kill, whereas (& my ex brother in law was a case in point) the others hunted for "fun"
I know this isn't true of everyone but the vast majority saw hunting as "a day out playing with guns" it's very different
Jam Lady

In today's NY Times: hunting wood pigeons in France.

and 11 pictures

Any comments?

I don't understand the context of the "any comments?" at the end.

Firstly here this year the numbers of the pigeons are down as the wind is in the wrong direction, the birds are flying too high & arriving in Spain in therefore greater numbers.

Secondly the Basque traditions of hunting different from those in this region, the Basques having a heavy Spanish influence to them.

The right to hunt was granted by Napolean the (think of a number) apparently, so is jealously & preciously guarded by ordinary French...a case of "use it or lose it"

wood pigeon are delicious, in the UK they are either a protected bird or avian infestation so you can or cannot shoot them depending what they are doing ,if i understand the basic rule in a tree = protected, eating one's peas vermin (and very tasty)
one of the alternatives to shooting them is find where they cross the road as they often fail to look both ways and also fall victim to high fronted vehicles as they donít climb too well in an emergency

the thing in the casserole looks more like a woodcock ,also delicious and game in the UK.

i tried rook a long time ago ,just once. perhaps young ones are better eating as rook pie was an old time keeper's spring dinner time favourite but the one i found was chewy to say the least and the flavour was no better than fairly horrible.
Jam Lady

Things are always different abroad. I asked about comments just from curiosity - what do people think about the Basque traditions of shooting wood pigeons.

No wood pigeon here. I've seen then in the Netherlands. Have cooked pigeon / rock dove here (smaller than wood pigeon, city bird, wild type is gray, broad black bar markings but there are numerous fancy breeds.)

Pigeon shoots over in Pennsylvania - caged birds released for shooters. Animal rights people trying to ban the events as cruel and inhumane. They claim birds are wounded, not killed outright.

Never attended a pigeon shoot. I will say that our captive raised pheasants are so tame that it is said they have to be kicked to make them fly so they are legal to shoot. I have seen wild pheasants in Connecticut. Here in New Jersey I occasionally see a stray cock bird, never hens.
Mistress Rose

Pigeons shot in the UK are mainly to keep them off the crops, but a fair number are eaten too. Someone I worked with used to go shooting pigeons, and one morning when he gave me a lift into work, he told me to hold a carrier bag open, then tipped in a dozen dead pigeons. They were distributed around at work. Haven't had pigeon, but a couple of dozy pheasants that committed suicide, one flying into a gate, the other under the car wheels.
Jam Lady

One long ago winter I saw a dead ruffed grouse on the road. Stopped car. Felt between wing and body - still warm. Had flown into a car and broke its neck, I think. So I took it home and we had it for dinner.

And one time I was in town and the owner of a wildlife art gallery had been out shooting ducks. He gave me three. Which I brought home, dressed, and we had them for dinner.

Another time a friend gave me a pheasant she had been given - didn't want to deal with it. I offered to show her how to dress it but no, no, wanted nothing to do with it. My good luck.

It's funny / amusing what people will / will not be willing to do - I find dressing game birds perfectly acceptable.
Mistress Rose

Must say for things like rabbits and unexpected birds, I have to get my trusty Cookery Year book out which tells me how to deal with them. Son phoned me once and said if he brought a rabbit home from work could I deal with it. Also ended up with a haunch of venison from a deer that had just been frightened to death by a dog attacking it.
Jam Lady

I will give credit to my year-long college course in comparative anatomy which have been useful in a way my professor did not perhaps intend. It has been very useful when cutting up birds (ducks are so different from chickens etc), venison forequarter & hindquarter, woodchuck and raccoon.

Calculus and differential equations, on the other hand, have not.

today's hound scamper provided about a kilo of oyster shrooms which were lightly salted , then they dripped for a couple of hours on the rack before being mopped dryish.

they are now cold smoking over beech shavings in a drafty place and will be sliced and pickled in blueberry balsamic vinegar once they are about dried to about 1/3 of the original water content.

Cool very yum with cheese, cold meats or even on a pizza.

From a few days ago . Clitocybe geotropa

beautiful...and the basket too Smile
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