Early Winter Wonderings

Hi all, well it is cold and wet outside and my body is giving me curry renforcing the seasonal change.

I sat up most of the night crocheting my eight years on and off of laboriously hand spun wool into a poncho I was hoping it would be ready for this winter and it will be in a coupler more nights finally, I just finished an alpaca wool poncho as well, I have been spinning wool on and off depending on the old body for years now, I bought an old antique spinning wheel many years ago I have two actually my antique one and a different version of a wheel made by someone out of pine, I just love spinning when I can it’s very relaxing once you master it that it, it really bring it home how hard people used to work to make everything they didn’t just go down the shop and by a wool jumper they had to make it from scratch it is very humbling and very satisfying to create something from scratch.
I still have a few more boxes of wool left and am going to try to spin a lot of it to make mats, it doesn’t have to be fine spun for this so should be easy and I will try to felt some too, these are good jobs for winter.

Anyway I woke up late aching and tiered to the sound of Mr crow and his mates cawing outside my window, some hate crows but I love their glossy blackness and their intelligent piecing shiny eyes oh and I just love their low pitched drawling talking as it isn’t really a song, it makes me smile. After brekie I decided to just cook one thing today and do a blog and this is it, I cooked a hot apple chutney with some beautiful old fashioned apples my friend dropped in for me the other day. I’m not a big apple eater but am trying to find ways to use them as there are so many here in Tassie they grow wild everywhere and there isn’t many yards that don’t have an old apple tree in them so they are always in abundance. I cant eat the high acid apples I like the golden delicious and the lady in the snow fresh to eat but these ones my friend gave me are an old late season apple one is high acid and one doesn’t have much flavor or I would call it savory they are both great for cooking and the chutney turned out great sorry I didn’t write the recipe down I just chucked everything I had around into it, apples, onions, chilly, tomatoes, mustard seeds, bay leaves, cloves, paprika, smoke water, seaweed,vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper cooked until soft and thickened and bottled.

My Amaranth is drying well it should be ready to blog about soon, I also will be updating my mushroom list with a new edible mushroom after this, it was a hard one to identify to 100% I knew the genus but the exact species is a bit harder I can’t seem to find much literature in relation to Tasmania on what species I think it is. I think it is Ramaria myceliosa,  it grows in rings under the Pinus radiata here and after talking with others online and researching it I decided to try it as usual I tried a little bit and the next day a bit more and then the next day a bowl full, these are really nice in flavor but are harder to harvest and very fiddly to clean  they get a lot of rubbish in amongst their branches that you have to carefully pick out. They are nice so worth doing a few times a season, there isn’t many other mushrooms out at this time of year.

Now having said all of that there are a few species in this genus that can apparently make you sick as in effecting the digestion system diarrhea and stomach cramps etc, so please be careful to Identify the species in your area and do your own research before trying ok.

Coral fungi (Ramaria sp.) lightly fried in olive oil.

My other note on mushroom is that the Wood Blewits (Lepista nuda) and the Grey Knight (Tricholoma terreum) both dry well I wasn’t sure they would but they turned out good, they both rehydrate well the wood blewits are better than they grey knight which dry to virtually nothing because they are so small.

Fresh & dried Wood Blewits (Lepista nuda)

The other new thing I did recently was to cook up a Stinging nettle (Urtica sp.) and Salsify concentrated soup and then I dried it to use it like a cuppa soups or to flavor meals like a seasoning. It worked well and I will be experimenting with similar dried recipes in the future, This one was just onions, salsify root, nettles, salt, pepper and water all simmered until tender and reduced then blended, dried and crumbled up and put in glass jar.

Stinging nettle & Salsify soup stock flakes

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2 comments on “Early Winter Wonderings

  1. Ah you decided to try the little coral fungi…I understand that the species that are not good to eat have the toxin in the tips only so if in doubt…trim. I have eaten them in salad where there slightly peppery taste is highlighted. I also made pakora but the delicate flavour was lost in the batter so I think that tempora is the go with these. I also used them in mixed wild fungi sauce, I quick fried them and threw them in at the last minute. BTW thank you for the information on wood blewits, next season I want to try these. This season I just wasn’t quite game 🙂

  2. Yer mate they were good and yes their taste is delicate so have to take that into account when cooking. No problem about the Wood Blewits I thought it would be good info for people just to help with confidence on the one nasty look alike, they are totally worth foraging for so good luck with it next season! 🙂

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