At this time of year there are so many goodies for the taking! We have to be careful to leave some for the wildlife but if we only take what we need -Autumn is a fruitful time, especially for nut and mushroom lovers!
I find September the best mushroom month- as this is when my very favourite mushroom is at large, the Parasol mushroom. These are a good one to eat as they are not confused with any other mushroom with a very distinct height and size (never eat a small parasol i.e under 7cm in width and you can't go wrong) There are also shaggy parasols which are also delicious. They are meaty and delicious...I fry mine up on a low heat with LOTS of butter & serve on freshly home made toast but I've seen many recipe for breadcrumbed Parasols...mmmm.
Today was a great day for collecting juicy sweet chestnuts! They have been a bit shrivelled up until now but most trees are now busy dropping the most bulbous, glossy, plump fruits! We have collected a fair amount & will be roasting them on our fire tonight I should imagine....
Check out Organic chestnut farmer, Chris Foster demonstrates how to roast fresh chestnuts. Chestnut season runs between October and December. This is the time of year to enjoy roast chestnuts at their peak of freshness.
We are lucky enough to have a Hazel tree where we live and this year has been the best harvest it's given yet! For the last month it has been dropping nuts & the kids have had a lot of fun collecting them. They are wet nuts and the shells are visually lighter in colour when collected but are gradually darkening and drying out indoors & should be ready to eat in a few weeks. To intensify the nutty sweetness roasting hazelnuts is recommended, which I have yet to try! The kids seem to like them as they are.
Another plentiful & cheap food at this time of year is courgettes! Our harvest was unsuccessful this year due to planting in a sunless corner of the garden ( an attempt to hide them form dogs and children's fingers ) but we have been the lucky benefactors of our neighbour Laura's excess harvest! We are re-inventing every meal to include courgettes! If you live in the country take advantage of veg sold on the sides of roads, it's often surplus to requirement and are often very reasonably priced!