Apples, Artichokes, Wild Fennel, Mushies and basket materials.

Yesterday’s trip to the doctors turned out to be a big day of foraging on the way home as usual. I ended up with not only food stuff this time but some basket making materials as well.

First on the list was apples three different types, my aunty had told me there was an empty house down the road with plenty of apple trees in it so once I found the house I stopped grab the basket and filled it up, I don’t know what the apples are exactly but I can only eat ones that are low in acid and these are perfect.

I have actually been munching on the apples I got last time and I have been enjoying them for the first time in my life, being bought up in the “Apple Island” (Tasmania) I think I was over dosed as a child I just haven’t been able to bring myself to eat more than a few mouths full at once. I was determined to use this abundant free resource and it looks like I will use some each year now. I’m going to dry this lot I stewed and froze the last lot, I will show how that turn out in a separate blog later.

In the same yard there were several Artichokes (Cynara sp.) it was a prickly one so I had to be careful but I picked a few leaf bases and the two flower buds that were there. I got a coupler prickles in my fingers but it was worth the trouble and pain. I cooked the stems into a Artichoke and potato soup I’ve made lots of soups in the last month but you can never have enough soups in winter. I served this with  crispy potato skins, these are just the skins dried out over night and tossed through seasoned wholemeal flour then shallow fried until crispy, be careful as they burn very quickly.

Artichoke stem & potato soup

Artichoke stem & potato soup

Artichoke stem & potato soup with crispy potato skins









Artichoke stem & potato soup

  • 4 onions
  • 4 potatoes
  • 8 artichoke stems washed and chopped
  • salt & pepper
  • water

Fry the onions & garlic until tender add the artichoke stems, salt and pepper fry a bit longer then add water to cover simmer until cooked, cool blend and strain then serve.

Next on the list was mushrooms, I picked a small bucket full not sure exactly what they were all I knew was they were an Agaricus mushroom of some sort, the smaller one were staining yellow but the bigger ones near these weren’t so I was hoping they were different but I tried a bit of a cooked one and they didn’t taste nice so I tossed them.

Next was wild fennel (Foeniculum sp.) another plant that is abundant that I don’t love the flavour of but really want to use I ended up making a Wild fennel and potato soup which is nice and I made a fennel and molasses candy which are scrumptious a bit soft but I’m trying to use raw sugar and I don’t think it sets as hard as when you use white processed sugar I’m still working on the recipe.

Wild fennel & potato soup

Wild fennel & potato soup

  • 5 onions
  • 5 potatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • salt & pepper
  • a big bowl of chopped wild fennel (Foeniculum sp.)
  • water

Fry the onions & garlic in olive oil until tender add salt, pepper, potatoes and fennel fry a bit longer until very aromatic then add water to cover simmer very gently for 15 minutes then turn heat up and boil until all cooked, cool and blend serve with a fresh spring of fennel.

Last but not least I harvested White poplar and white willow stems and branches for basket weaving. I’m looking forward to creating some more baskets this winter why I’m hibernating, blogs to come.

White popular and white willow for basket making

Well that’s it for this one cheers


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