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Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Foragers Diary; January 2019

January is the start of the hungry gap, all the larger edible fungi are finished now, even the blewets and oysters which will persist a little longer into Winter and which I was still finding in good numbers in November and December are all gone now and for my fungi fix I have to rely on smaller more unusual species such as Scarlet Elf Cups.

Slightly damp mossy woodland is the best place to find these colourful fungi and you can often pick leaves from a variety of wild cress species from close by. 

A bag full of cress and scarlet elf cups. 

Combined with a bit of cream cheese or pickled beetroot or chutney they make a delicious treat. My daughter thinks they might be the kind of thing fairies would eat so she loves them.

As we are still in the shooting season there is plenty of game meat to be eaten and I very rarely have time to pluck birds so more often than not I take the breasts and thighs from them without plucking to save a lot of time and mess. The breasts often get roasted wrapped in bacon, pan fried or even minced for sausage and other recipes depending on the species and I normally use the thighs for casseroles and curries. The following recipe makes for a great game curry;

4 pairs of partridge legs and thighs
2 pairs of pheasant legs and thighs
1 pair of duck legs and thighs
1 pair of goose legs and thighs
2 jars aldi thai green curry sauce
250g natural yoghurt
2 big handfulls of spinache
2 large peppers sliced
250g Baby sweetcorn

With rice this was plenty for a dozen people at a family gathering but unfortunately it all got eaten before I could take a picture.

Wild food can always be improved by eating it out of doors and as fresh as possible, fresh roe liver from a deer shot that morning and a pan full of eggs makes a very hearty campfire breakfast after an early stalk and to prepare for a full day in the woods.

In the run up to Christmas and through to the end of the wildfowling season I always try to give away some goose to family members who might not have such ready access to it as I do and judging by this picture from my brother it gets put to good use;

Goose crowns bagged up and ready for distribution. 
Check back next month for some more recipes, foraging tips and stories of wild food.

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