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Sunday, 14 September 2014

Calvatia / Langermannia gigantea, Giant Puffball

Thanks to Peter the farmer for pointing me in the direction of this one and permission to walk across his land, a friendly chat while out Blackberry picking got around to the topic of mushrooms,he did forewarn me that this one would be past it's best.However it was worth the look as I haven't seen one in this last couple of years and what ever stage they are at they are a thing to marvel.
When they are young and fresh (firm with the flesh white throughout) they are simple to cook, peel and slice 2cm thick, season with salt and white pepper, panfry with butter until golden brown both sides.They go well with the usual things, eggs and bacon being good.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Hay Makers, in 'The Far Bog'
That time of year again, but things a have moved on and there won't be many man in the meadows with their forks turning hay.This photo is from the mid 80's and my Father on the left has long since passed on, my Uncle John on the right sporting his trademark 'knotted hanker-chief' is still kicking though and like the rest of us enjoying the smell of fresh cut grass again, more especially for him in this his 100th Summer.

This field, known to us as 'the far bog' not an actual bog but low lying ground in the Bann Valley, that was revamped by my father who dug a drain wide enough to stand in and waist depth or more by the end that emptied into the Bann. It was a tough job, but my dad made light of it, one digging one shovelling (luckily one of the older brothers was a good shoveller).Lengthwise it was easily double of what can be seen of the hay-field in the photograph. Re-fenced and reseeded this was probably one of the first cuts of hay in that field and though my cousin had a 'hay kicker' the old boys still liked to get in there with the forks, it probably made the bottle of tea taste sweeter.
One of Summers great tastes.
                                                                   Meadowsweet Cordial.
Meadowsweet, 25 Flower heads (about a compressed fistful)
1 litre of water
300 g sugar
Juice and zest of one lemon.

Put the flowers, sugar and water into a large pot, bring the contents slowly  to the boil stirring so the sugar dissolves, remove from the heat add the lemon juice and zest, cover and leave to cool letting the flavours infuse, then strain through a fine sieve.Keep in the fridge until needed.
Dilute with sparkling water and serve with a twist of lemon and a few a ice cubes.

'Wild flowers of Ireland' A very useful site, here's link to Meadowsweet,

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Aurantiporous fissillis , The Greasy Bracket

The Greasy Bracket fits into a category of fungi that I admire and generally walk past, not worth eating or no use for the table. This is a striking example of it growing aggressively, so I stopped and took a few photographs.It most likely caused the rot in this tree in the first instance and led to the tree being felled for safety.
felled tree stack

aurantiporous fissillis, aggressively growing in a decayed tree.
aaurantiporous fissillis, 'the greasy bracket'

aurantiporous fissillis, 'the greasy bracket'

On the upside I'd the top table for a break.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

cauliflower fungus

Sparissa crispa, 2013 was a good year for these guys, broken up into leaflike florets then soaked and well washed it fries up beautifully with some fatty pork,onion and cream.

nb. the large ones on the table attractted lots of attention at
The Kilruddery House Mushroom Hunt, under the guidance of Bill from mushroomstuff.ie

Siamese stinkhorn!

The stinkhorn 'Phallus impudicus' normally grows a single stype/stem, this one's a bit of an odditty.

Fly agaric gallery

Amanita muscaria-fly agaric, like to grow in groups and are a good (almost always) indicator of the presence of ceps nearby, if there is peppery boletes growing it's game on!