Thursday, September 13, 2012


Sitting here sipping on a nice single malt (Auchentoshan, if anyone cares) and sniffing the amazing smells coming from the kitchen as Fred cooks up the ginormous find of chanterelles we picked today and yesterday. This is a fantastic year for chanterelles here in Nova Scotia, apparently - all of our marked spots and a good many new ones are productive. It's also the beginning of the tooth mushroom season - just a couple to throw in the pan to add a nice little crispness. Yum.

We also started the harvest of black trumpet mushrooms - perfect dried and stored for winter pasta dishes with lots of cream and some ham or bacon - holy god, the mouth waters.

A quick list to remind me of what's coming up in the garden and the woods: basil ready to turn into pesto, crabapples and rosehips to be picked for jam, all the tooth mushroom sites to check, as well as the black trumpet spots; looks like lots more chanterelles, too......Fred is just saying, he's not sure we've ever had so many chanterelles at one time to fit into the pan, at least in this country.

Other finds in the last couple of days - several lovely long planks of wood that will end up on top of the half-wall in the upsatairs hallway. Hah, major redecorating coming up there. And, a nice wooden planter that Fred is painting with glue to make it look like the Vasa, that fantastic museum in Stockholm that consists of a sunken ship from 1628 brought to the surface in 1961 and preserved with some sort of gunk.

I need a new cable for my camera so I can add current pictures to this thing, but in the meantime, here is another from the archives: NOT, I hasten to add, an edible fungus, but a funny one, from the backyard of the house in Sweden:

Saturday, September 8, 2012

And begun....

Finally spurred to begin writing tonight, on the way home from collecting grape leaves from gardens that have overgrown their  boundaries into pathways - free for the taking? I suppose so - no one cares, anyway. They will be blanched, filled with a mix of bulghur, vegetables and herbs and then cooked for 45 minutes in a water bath, just like the Greek ones. 

We live in a totally suburban neighbourhood, a bedroom community, as it were, and we can harvest mushrooms, berries (straw, blue, rasp, black, and cran), wild apples/crabapples/pears, sorrel, dandelions and more, all within an hour's walk, and mostly all still in the hidden pockets of wilderness hiding between streets or narrowly stretched along streams.

We also find cast-offs, jetsam, treasures - bikes, wooden boards or planters or boxes, a perfect pair of leather boots -  this is my account of the things we have gathered, and found useful; just so I remember it all.