Tuesday, 6 March 2007

Back to Woodside again for a while...

Back in Woodside again…

Willow looks very happy with her new look!

The dogs are sitting in their own personal space at the back of the ‘van. This was originally a permanent double bed; we covered the mattress in a thick tarpaulin then an old sleeping bag and picnic rugs. The stair-gate was a later addition necessary to keep the dogs in their space when we are driving or when they are left on their own to keep them off our seating and dining area.

The cast iron coffee grinder found in a junk shop has come into its own; we hardly ever drink instant coffee now!!

We continue to take the dogs for walks along the river Don behind my parent’s home by what is now the Woodside Sports Complex but formally known as the Lad’s Club. We found these Oyster mushrooms one day on an old beech tree.

We took them back and had them fried with smoked bacon, wild rocket and tomatoes!

Oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus) form tiers of brackets on the trunks of deciduous trees usually beech. These mushrooms can be found at all times of the year and it’s worth looking for them during winter months when there are very little other wild mushrooms around. We have also found other edible ones that can be found during winter months – Jew’s ear fungus (Hirneola auricular-judea) and velvet shank mushrooms (Flammulina velutipes).

I have taken quite a lot of pictures of trees that I might like to draw/paint at some later date. Here are some of my favourites!

On one of the days we were walking the dogs, Peter spotted a deer ahead of us and indicated to me to put the dogs leads on in order to give the deer a chance to run away without the dogs seeing and chasing it. The deer ran off but must have panicked and ran and jumped at a high security fence surrounding an electricity sub-station. It must have bashed into the strong straining post as it knocked itself out. We went to investigate and saw that it was out cold; it then began to roll its eyes and was kicking its legs. We didn’t give it much hope and were unsure whether to kill it quickly to avoid suffering or to leave it as it might only be concussed. We decided to leave it hidden in undergrowth and Peter would return later to see if it was still there and dead; if so he would take it back and butcher it for the meat, so that it would not go to waste. We hoped that it would not be there, but it was. Peter soon made short work of butchering the carcase into cuts and joints to eat and freeze.

We consulted Lady Claire Grant-Russell McPherson’s book “I Love Food” for venison and roe deer recipes. Mum and I made Collops of Roe Deer with Blueberry and Thyme Sauce for dinner! I gave this book (a signed copy from Morgan McVeigh’s!) to mum for Christmas one year. It has many excellent recipes using good, seasonal and wild foods and I ordered a copy from Amazon to take with me.

We went to Russell and Lyn’s home for dinner one weekend and they presented us with a copy of Rick Stein’s “Fruits of the Sea”; this will definitely be useful for when we stay at coastal places at find or buy fresh sea food!
We have also bought a copy of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage Cookbook. This also has sections and recipes for seasonal and wild foods. I have also bought a copy of Roger Phillips’ “Mushrooms”. This is a comprehensive guide to identifying mushrooms and fungi and will be essential to identify fungi before eating!! Roger Phillips also has an excellent searchable online database at www.rogersmushrooms.com

No comments: