So here we are, getting on for mid-November: recent days have been damper and darker, with indoor lights needed by half four in the afternoon. Never mind, it's less than 6 weeks until the winter solstice when it all starts going in reverse and the days gradually lengthen. Looking at things that way, it doesn't seem too bad to my mind. Time to close the curtains and settle down with a good book and mug of tea.
At the moment, I'm reading a recent cookbook purchase of Veg Every Day, the latest from River Cottage. I've cooked up some wonderful meals from it, last night enjoying Mushroom Risoniotto, (riso being a tiny rice shaped pasta) a pasta affair with mushroom, fresh herbs and creme fraiche which was utterly delicious. Of course, I had to buy the mushroom ingredients but I did wonder, fleetingly, if I could have eaten any of these beauties found in the Veg Patch gardens - prompted by Hugh F-W recommending the use of "dark and flavoursome mushrooms ... include a few wild mushrooms if you have some to hand". (Nooo, I didn't; even I wouldn't be that silly! I haven't got a clue about mushrooms, unless they're store bought.)
Obviously the warm, damp weather conditions are just right for fungal growth in the grass. Apparently the presence of mushrooms means the grass is healthy; the fungi thrive by feeding off old plant debris under the surface and leave the soil in a better condition. I was amazed at finding six different mushrooms in one patch of grass less than half the size of a cricket pitch. Anyone know what these are?
There's something so magical about mushrooms (leaving aside references to Timothy Leary, any psychotropic happenings of the 60's and purported peddlings in good ol' Camden Market). For me, mushrooms springing up overnight will always remind me of misty dawn childhood expeditions with my siblings and my Dad, hunting for mushrooms on the airfields of Culdrose in Cornwall. The thrill of finding field mushrooms to take home for breakfast!
And, seriously, if anyone can shed any light as to what sort of mushrooms these are, please let me know!