Oh Deer

February 12, 2016

It’s been creeping up on us for a while, but even so I was a little disoriented this afternoon to realise it was five o’clock already because there was still plenty of light in the sky

setting sun

Just enough time to nip out and do a little garden pottering, even if all I achieved was to clear out some of the nettle roots from the manure heap …

lilac coloured mushrooms

… and admiring the freaky purple mushrooms that have sprung up all over it

Pulling nettle roots is strangely absorbing, actually. It’s a bit like untangling knitting wool – you have a feeling it’s not the most productive thing you could be doing with your time yet somehow you cannot stop, as there’s always another good tangled clump to tease out and then another, and another …

By the time I’d torn myself away the light was fading and it was only then I noticed the young dead deer that had been lying less than 5 yards away from where I was standing. Too gruesome for photos, you’ll be glad to hear, although how I managed to overlook it I have no idea*

* I did consider making that the title of the post but it was a bit too close to the bone to be funny


Stick it to ’em

January 17, 2012

It’s that time of the year again – I’ve just sat down with a gardening friend to go through the seed catalogues and put in a joint order. We save money by splitting the packets (because, seriously, who needs 500 parsnip seeds?) and then cheerfully plough the savings – and then some – into egging each other on to try things we wouldn’t otherwise have considered. This year, it looks like we’re trying black kale, celeriac and cauliflower (I did try very hard to persuade her against carrots but she’s bent on a path of self-destruction and is giving them an absolute final last chance. Fool!).

Of course I was already in a more adventurous frame of mind, as the Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall washing-up creation experiment continues, reaching something of a local maximum with the consumption, by me, without TOO much whining, of mushroom and kale lasagne. I have long resisted mushrooms (apart from chanterelles) on the grounds that a) they’re slimy, b) they’re neither animals nor vegetables and are very possibly of alien origin and c) they just look nasty. Close examination of my conscience revealed that none of these reasons were based on my ever having eaten the things although anyone who’s a properly picky eater will know that that’s largely irrelevant because in order to taste something like mushrooms you’d have to put them in your mouth and why would you do that if it’s something you don’t like? Eeeuw. But anyway, I am in fact 42 and not 4, so I was persuaded to give them a go. I was hoping we’d start on mushroom soup which would get rid of the whole texture issue but lasagne it was and actually it turns out that the texture of lasagne noodles and the texture of sliced mushrooms are more or less identical and once they’ve all been cooked together for long enough, so is the taste.

Anyway. The other half made a lovely lasagne AND did the washing up (which is verging on the heroic) and I prodded it with a fork for a bit and then ate it. And it was fine. I’m not going to stand up and declare that the first four decades of my life have been spent in the darkness of non-mushroom eating and now the scales have fallen from my eyes and their deliciousness has been revealed – but they were fine. I no longer have to pick mushrooms out of my food or automatically discard any mushroom based options from a menu. The other half is looking forward to adding such delights as grilled steak and mushrooms to our menu (he’s not really on board with the whole ‘eating less meat thing’ is he?). And I take one small step towards being a slightly more normal person, food wise.

I did feel that, on the whole, my bravery at eating it all up should be recognised so the other half made me a sticker:

If we get onto sprouts – or courgettes – I’m holding out for a medal.

My Fifteen Minutes of Faim

September 3, 2008

My mushroom post made it onto the WordPress front page yesterday – bringing a nice spike in my stats and with any luck some new readers who will stick around (hello!). And also exposed to the whole world the fact that I consistently and repeatedly can’t bloody spell ‘chanterelles’. I blame Google, naturally, because half the internet can’t spell chanterelles either so it didn’t did-you-mean me when I searched under the wrong spelling. But then half the internet can’t consistently put an apostrophe in the correct place so that’s no excuse. And as someone who pedantically punctuates her text messages I really should know better.

I’d go back and correct it but it’s too late – the damage is done. I’m leaving it up there in all its misspelt glory as a reminder to myself that the spell-checker in my toolbar is not there for decoration. And I did at least manage to identify them correctly, even if I couldn’t spell them…

More Food for Free

September 1, 2008

One advantage of all the rain we get around here:




Lots of them


So we took some home


And had them on toast for tea.

I’m not a huge fan of mushrooms to be honest, but if I’m going to eat mushrooms, then these are the mushrooms I like to eat.