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Hedgerow Cookbook

47 46 This is an extensive aspect of wild food cookery, and a few common varieties are included here. Please use a good field guide and gather only what you are sure of. My favourite guide is Roger Phillips Mushrooms and other Fungi. Pick mushrooms on a dry day, preferably early in the morning, twisting them off at the base. Bracket fungi need to be cut from the tree with a knife. Check each one for grub infestation by slicing through the stem with a knife, then lay them carefully in a basket. If you wish to gather specimens for identification at home, take a separate basket never mix these with your edibles. When you get home check each one carefully and select the best to eat immediately, putting aside the poorer ones for soups or sauces. Eat mushrooms fresh or dry them for winter soups and stews. Fistulina hepatica. A bracket fungus resembling a slab of meat, found on the sides of old oaks and chestnut trees. Pick the fresh ones from late summer to the first frosts. Slice into 1cm strips which can be fried in butter, covered with stock or wine and simmered for ten minutes. Alternatively, dry the strips. 51 Boletus edulis. The Penny Bun. Common in mixed wood land from late July, especially under conifers. This brown bunshaped mushroom has a creamy white spongy underside instead of gills which turns yellow and no stem ring. A pleasant smell and a mild nutty taste. Only pick the youngest. op. Cantharellus cibarius. Found mainly in pine, beech and birch woods from July to December. Yellowy orange, funnelshaped with no ring, it has a pleasant apricoty smell. Wonderful stewed and added to egg dishes. op.
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