Tuesday 9 October 2007

Mushroom Fever

Cowie and I went mushroom hunting this weekend down in Somerset. We found a few mushrooms including what we think were some Shaggy Ink Caps near Cowie's horse lorry and a whole bunch of small puffballs in the forset.

We are in practice for our trip to Hugh Fernley Wittingstall's River Cottage down in Dorset. His chief Mycologist, John Wright, is taking us on a mushroom hunting trip in the woods where we get to eat what we find on our return to the cottage. I've been looking forward to this for months and have begun to bore Cowie senseless. I've even bought several mushroom books in advance including John's book, The River Cottage Handbook.

You can tell it's mushroom season when even the London Metro starts writing articles about tasty fungus.

Here are the details for the event downa the River Cottage HQ:

"This course is all about gathering and cooking wild mushrooms. We will be targeting the abundant and delicious varieties offered up, for free, in the forests and fields during October.

The day begins with a forage in the beautiful West Dorset/East Devon countryside. You will be accompanied by members of the River Cottage team, led by John Wright, our wild food and mushroom expert. John has steered Hugh to many an exciting mushroom find in the River Cottage series. John will teach you how to safely identify, pick and prepare these funghi with pleasure and confidence.

We will then return to our converted barn at RCHQ, for a cookery demonstration from our resident River cottage cooks. Following a talk from John about the varieties gathered that morning both edible and poisonous, you will then be served a four course meal - based around the edible mushrooms, of course - but also the best local and seasonal produce Dorset and Devon has to offer. To accompany this course, when you book you will be given free access to our online Mushroom course designed by John Wright, which normally costs £20."

Cowie and I will tell you all about it and take as many pictures as possible once we return on the 24th October.

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