About this blog

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Wales, United Kingdom
In autumn 2010, my husband Ian and I both quit our jobs, sold our house and left the flatlands of the east for the mountains of Wales. Our goal is to create a more self-sufficient lifestyle in a place we actually like living. Whilst Ian will continue to earn some money as a freelancer, my part of the project is to reduce how much we spend by growing and making as much of what we need as possible. The purpose of this blog is to keep friends updated with how the grand project is progressing, but all are welcome here. If you're not a friend already, well perhaps you might become one.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Foraged Food Friday: Chanterelles

I was going to tell you about chestnuts this week, but then I found chanterelles and while chestnuts will keep (especially as I've made them into chestnut flour), chanterelles won't. If you've been reading the Also harvesting sections of these posts, you'll know that I've been gathering quite a variety of mushrooms over the past few months. I've really got the mushroom-hunting bug!

One of the most prized mushrooms is the highly distinctive chanterelle. The yellow-orange funnels with the wrinkles (as opposed to gills) running a long way down the stem are easy to recognise even the first time you see them (though there is a false chanterelle, but luckily it isn't poisonous). Yesterday I went out to see if I could find any mushrooms to go in some pasties and struck lucky with a ring of chanterelles. They weren't at their best, a bit old, and half buried under wet leaves so quite a bit had gone slimy, but still chanterelles. These are substantial enough that even after cutting off the damaged parts, there's still a worthwhile amount left.

I may have got slightly carried away with picking, as I ended up with more than I needed for the pasties. Here's what I had left today:

A few past-it chanterelles (Cantharellus cibarius)

I also had a bit of pastry left over from the pasties, so I fried up the chanterelles with onion and garlic plus a bit of beef-in-ale stock (left over from... I forget) and lots of cornflour to make it gloopy, then went for a jam tart type arrangement:

Mushroom and onion tarts, with red sauerkraut on the side

Oddly, the pasties had a stronger chanterelle flavour than the tarts - maybe I used too much onion. Never mind, both were delicious, and excellent ways of using free food.

Also harvesting
Rosehips (for syrup, or possibly fizzy wine)

Also eating
Rowan and crab apple jelly
Knotweed chutney
Courgette puree (from freezer)
Chestnut flour pancakes
Rosehip syrup (both on pancakes and diluted as a drink)

Also drinking

Blackcurrant wine (this year's)
Dandelion flower tea
Hopped ale
Bay herb ale

Foraged food challenge summary page here.


  1. Gosh you are brave Rachel, how do you know which mushrooms you are eating? Did you go on a course? They look delicious, but I have never had the guts to eat one that I have identified!

    1. I didn't go on a course, but I have the River Cottage Handbook of Mushrooms (full set still stupidly cheap from The Book People though having bought them all, I find I only read the three written by John Wright). That's a good start and tells you about any look-alikes, and how to distinguish them. If I can find a mushroom in there, then I look online for more pictures to make sure it still looks like the one I've picked. Some are easier than others, so you can stick to the easy ones until you've had a bit of practice and learnt to look for all the details that you need to check.


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