Hygrophoropsis (clitocybe, cantharellus) aurantiacus. Edibility doubtful, probably best avoided. (Rayner, Mushrooms and Toadstools, Hamlyn 1979)

P1020787  hygrophoropsis aurantiacusThe mushrooms I gathered in our woods in Mid-November, after the second rains. Update, thanks to Tristan, mushrooms now positively identified as Lactarius Deliciosus. Yummmm! Several days ago Harry the Dog sounded the alarm. “We have trespassers!” I went to investigate and found our neighbour poking around in our woodland, carrying a plastic bag. “Good morning, Ana Rosa” “Hello Mr Jorge” and she just carried on mushroom hunting. The Portuguese have no sense of privacy and if they want to come onto your land to shoot edible birds, rabbits, hare and wild boar they do so. Same with edible mushrooms.

fried hygrophoropsis aurantiacus

fried lactarius deliciosus

On Sunday morning every half hour Harry woofed his alarm as the land beside our house was visited by mushroom hunters, eventually I saw six, each carrying a crate! They ignored me even at close quarters. Now, I can understand that if you are starving you could perhaps go and help yourself to your neighbour’s crops, but to go and clear his land of mushrooms to sell for your own profit makes me cross. But hey, we’re foreigners.On Monday I decided to gather some and try them. I fried them and had a bacon butty and mushrooms for breakfast. Absolutely delicious! Next year I’ll be out there before the robbin’ plebs!

Janet unwrapping tomatillos

Janet unwrapping tomatillos

The nightshade family includes tomatillos, which we grew for the first time this year. They are slow to start but when tomatoes are ripe these begin to ripen too. Our tomatoes finished in mid October but tomatillos were still on the plant and in good condition in late November.  A bushy plant which does not much like to be supported on canes, their fruit grows pre-wrapped, a little like the physalis fruit.

It tastes like a firm tomato with very few seeds, crossed with a green capsicum with a hint of chilli. It does not turn red when ripe.  Janet decided to freeze some so we can have them in winter with our favourite meal, chicken fajitas, which I make every week. It is used in Mexican cookery to make salsa – any other ideas are welcome, please!

tomatillo in its skeletised wrapper

tomatillo in its skeletised wrapper

tomatillos to freeze

tomatillos to freeze

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