What a gorgeous day, I woke while still dark in the lap of luxury in Farnham Estate, the sky was filled with stars and a thin sliver of moon. As the sun rose to reveal a misty frosty valley two wild hares came lolloping across the fields and foraged beneath my window.
Not too much later a bunch of us humans took to the woods and fields around this beautiful estate to see what good things we could find for dinner. We spent a most enjoyable few hours hunting down green leaves and fungi. Then home to the music room for a warming lunch and chat.
Sadly I had to leave before dinner but I did get an indication of what head chef Phillipe and his team had in store for tonight, enjoy and looking forward to seeing the photos.
This pickle recipe is from Raphael’s mum. In Poland pickled mushrooms are served as part of Christmas Eve dinner. This is for small Ceps but works well with almost all edible mushrooms and you can add more herbs. Antonio carluccio goes further still and pickles then preserves in oil and chillie. If using different mushrooms boil seperately at first to sterilize.
I part 10% white wine vinegar, if using 6% use two parts.
5 parts water,
bay leaf and all spice.
Clean and boil small Ceps in salty water till soft.
Meanwhile put all pickle ingredients into steel sausepan and bring to boil.
Pack mushrooms into small sterilized jars and top up with boiling pickle.
the mushrooms should be completely covered by liquid.
Seal and leave for at least a month before use.
store in cool dry place and check now and again that they are not fermenting or deteriorating,they will kepp for 4 months or so.
Lovely as piquant nibble or strained and tossed in oil for a different experience.
So it’s a poor year for berries but still managed to gather a few kilos of Black berries and as i have stocks of jam from last year and the berries were a bit damp I have started some wine which is happily burping away in the hotpress.
this is how I make it.
You will need,
- Small bucket or bowl, about 7litre capacity,
- Cover or lid for bowl,
- Means of sterilizing all equipment,
- Jug and funnel,
- sieve or jelly bag to strain out berries,
- Demijon and air lock.
- 2kg fresh blackberries,
- 1and half kg sugar,
- sachet red wine yeast,
- teaspoon pectolase,
- about 3half litres water.
put blackberries and water into sterilized bucket or bowl and crush the berries, cover so no vinegar fly can get in, lid or cloth and leave in warm place for few days, strain out the berries crushing more to get as much flavour as possible.
add the sugar to the strained liquid and stir till dissolved, if you like at this stage you can use a hydrometer to determine the sugar content and start point of ferment but you don’t have to.
transfer to demijon filling to about 10cm from top, if you have juice left over keep in bottle in fridge.
add yeast and pectolase to demijon and airlock.
Leave to ferment in a warm place shaking each day. fermentation should be rapid in first week, afterabout a week when fermentation has slowed allow reserved juice to come to room temp and top up demijon.
Allow to continue fermenting and rack, (siphon off from residue) wine after 3-4 weeks, discard residue and return wine to clean demijon and continue fermenting.
Some people “stop” their wine by adding a campden tablet i prefer to leave it ferment as long as it takes (6-10) and then bottle.
Most important, leave it to mellow and mature for at least 6 months.
Check out photos on face book of walks and finds in Sept Oct. Technology is wonderfull but tempromental and I’m currently unable to upload photos here so have look on wildfoodmary, facebook.
I know its short notice but I have a walk Fri Oct 5th at barna woods Galway meet car park 11am, then another this Sunday Oct &th in Slieve bloom area, meet Kinnitty village at 1pm. Then if anyone interested I am free Mon and Tues(15, 16 ) and Sunday 21th, lets get out there and identify mushrooms before the season is over.
I have promised to post recipies for Blackberry wine and Vitamin friendly juice extraction… Monday, promise!!