Fishing and Foraging
As the seasons change and the days cool, the ground gets damper and the mushrooms start to show their heads. You need to take time, to tread carefully and to look closely to see what is happening.
The forest floor is not what it first seems.
This past weekend I was honoured to get to spend it out and about in the Hampshire and Dorset countryside with a weekend of natural food sourcing treats.
We headed off on Saturday morning in the rolling hills of Dorset and found ourselves too close to be able to see the Giant of Cerne Abbas himself. The sign correctly said best view from the nearby layby.
From Cerne Abbas we spend the afternoon Fly Fishing. Kris is an excellent Fisherman and a patient guide, repeatedly showing me how to cast and retrieve. After some time and endless patience, I think I might have mastered the art of casting and the retrieve seems to work, but is yet to find a fish on the end of the line.
With no fish to take home, I was not disappointed as it had been a good lesson and the location was beautiful. Swallows or House Martins overhead circling en mass, perhaps in their preparation for long trips ahead. The reflections upon the water and the changing season of the bull rushes and the trees was just beautiful. Perhaps I should have taken the paints, and left Kris to cast.
An overnight stay in a Shepherds Huts, new and toasty with the log burner inside before a meeting with Lee Moreton, Foodie and Forager. Lee took us into the woods and shared passionately over a decades collected knowledge on the mushrooms we came across. Identification and locations. We found so many. Different types, from deathcaps to beef steaks, oysters and porcelains. There were chantarelles and milk tops. We walked past and got called back to see what we had missed. Lee’s eye was clearly tuned to spotting and knowing where to find hidden treasures.
I had talked about doing such a foraging trip for year and will aplogise to my friend Jocelyn who I had promised to head out with, but will pass on Lee’s details for her and her husband to meet up. Joc works in Dorchester, so is local to Lee and can meet and forage this autumn, I am sure they will love it as much as I did.
I’d like to show you the picture of the mixed mushroom pasta we had for tea. It’s not the story of the un-caught fish, but more one of the it was so delicious and fresh that it was gone before we realised a photo had not been taken
Such a lovely weekend and got me thinking a lot more about the British Food Fortnight, starting on 22nd September. I think I am going to challenge myself to eat only British for these 2 weeks. Will you join me on the challenge?