Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Fall foraging

Here I am, clinging on to the tail end of summer like wiley fox sliding down the cliff face gouging vertical lines in the rock with his fingernails. I'm not sure why I don't want this summer to end, as I really love the fall and everything it brings. As an avid forager, the first rainfall of Autumn has me scurrying around in the lobby for my wellies (rubber boots), walking stick, wicker basket and trusty Laguiole knife, prior to heading off into the woods to see what mother earth has brought for me. Even before I have entered my sacred hunting ground, I have filled half of my bag with hazel nuts and ripe purple plums to munch on. The light is just filtering through the trees and shimmering on a large pond filled with decaying water lilies, and the migrating geese are gathering together for their mass exodus. I can't begin to describe the feeling of participating in a ritual as old as mankind, but it is an extremely satisfying experience.
I know every bend in the path, every mossy bank. It is so intimate and familiar, yet I never know what I will find. On this day, my treasure was made up with white and yellow Chanterelles and juicy black Huckleberries.
The night before, I had brined a freshly caught salmon, and this would now be ready for the smoker, so I hurried home with my finds for a morning in the kitchen. Later this week, I have promised to cater a wine makers dinner at the Palouse Winery, so I'll need all of the aforementioned ingredients for the 6 course feast. This is in way of a" thank you" to the owners who have helped make a dream of making our own wine turn into a reality for us. We now have a barrel of 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon and  barrel of Viognier bottled, and another 2 barrels of Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Petite Syrah still to be bottled.
The bones and root vegetables are now roasting in the oven for the Demi Glace, and although it is still only 10.30, a small glass of Cabernet is sitting by the pepper mill and it has my name on it.
Time for a wee taste methinks.


  1. Weird ,was just in the middle of a mushroom post when I spotted this.I may have to ask your foraging advice!!

  2. oh my....it's just too perfect: barrels of wine and freshly foraged food, you're killing me!! Mercifully, in the wilds of London, I live within truddging distance of the butcher, the baker and Oddbins....and I know every bend in that path and every cash point bank......

  3. NS. Someone once told me there are bold mushroomers, and old mushroomers, but no bold old ones. I'd be happy to help.
    YH. LOL, No such conveniences here unless you like running marathons.

  4. I've posted the mushroom bit,have a look interested to know what you think!


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