www.mushroomdiary.com is an ongoing diary of my mushrooming forays in South West Brittany, France. Whilst I intend to concentrate primarily on mushrooms, no doubt other topics will creep in.
This site was originally launched in the Autumn of 2006. The following year I became ill and the site has lain idle until now.
I have recently moved a few miles south of my old mushrooming grounds and am looking forward to discovering new “petits coins”, meeting new friends and comparing our baskets (hopefully all full of delicious wild mushrooms!)
Saturday morning and we decided to go out mushrooming again…
We took the same route; just up the lane and then straight into the forest.
We decided to walk along the road, as before, as we’re not sure enough about what part of the interior of the forest to explore. That’ll come later, in the spring, when we can better see the lay of the land.
Six years ago I bought myself a mushrooming basket. It wasn’t specifically a Mushrooming Basket but just one that I found, at a price I could afford, that I felt would do the job. I paid 15 euros for it and it was fine until last year when it started to fall apart.
Time to treat myself to a new one then…
There is a basket shop in Rochefort en Terre with all sorts of baskets at reasonable prices. The next nice day we have I may go there and have a good look round.
Luckily, at a Vide-Grenier (a French Garage Sale/Car Boot Sale) I managed to pick up a basket for 5 euros. It had been made by the father of the woman selling it.
The full title of the book is… The mushroom, edible and otherwise, its habitat and its time of growth, with photographic illustrations of nearly all the common species : a guide to the study of mushrooms, with special reference to the edible and poisonous varieties, with a view of opening up to the student of nature a wide field of useful and interesting knowledge. Now, imagine trying to order that over the telephone!
This book (to use its full title…The mushroom book. A popular guide to the identification and study of our commoner fungi, with special emphasis on the edible varieties) is a 276 page book with plenty of illustrative line drawings and mainly black & white photographs.
I’ve recently been looking at some old mushrooming books that are now, due to their age, in the public domain.
These books are freely available for download from The Internet Archive (http://www.archive.org) but you may also download them from here.
Today I have selected was the Some Common Mushrooms and How to Know Them by Vera Katherine Charles and published in 1931 (more details at The Internet Archive.)
This book contains plenty of black and white photographs and, although I believe that some of the coloured drawings in the older books are better for field identification guides, I can also understand the desire, in 1931, to move forward to new technologies.
This River Cottage Handbook, `Mushrooms' by John Wright, is a genuinely funny and hugely informative guide to mushroom and toadstools with some useful cooking tips and recipes too. (Some are even simple enough to try!)
There are not many people who have been collecting, cooking and devising recipes for mushrooms for over 60 years, but Antonio Carluccio is one. Known as the 'mushroom man', Carluccio's Neal Street Restaurant in London's Covent Garden is a mecca for mushroom and truffle lovers from all over the world. Carluccio's expertise is unrivalled and this book, with over 100 recipes that make the most of readily available mushrooms in dishes ranging from classic to contemporary via oriental and Eastern European, will not disappoint.