Gathering our supper

This post has been languishing in my drafts folder for an age. In the spirit of “don’t let perfect become the enemy of good,” I’m just going to publish it as is. I have many more food-related photos from our trip – so many that I’ve struggled with organizing and sharing them. So here you go!


Marasmius oreades, aka Mousseron, Scotch bonnet, fairy ring mushroom, or fairy ring champignon.

These sweet little mushrooms are fairly highly prized by chefs. They also happen to grow in our backyard. In times of great abundance, I run a needle and thread through the centers of the caps, creating a garland that hangs in my kitchen to dry. Today I only found a handful, so they’ll go into tonight’s supper.

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On our recent trip to the north of England, we found great flushes of them. It was like encountering old friends. Our accommodations were self catering, so these little guys found their way into several meals during our stay, along with loads of Agaricus campestris (aka field mushrooms) picked right alongside Hadrian’s Wall.

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Agaricus campestris


M. oreades, A. campestris, and Coprinellus micaceus (aka mica caps), ready for the pan.

Mostly I just sautéed them in a bit of butter (or margarine if it was all I could get) and served them on toasted wholemeal bread over a bed of wilted nettles and topped with a fried egg.

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Our last night in Northumbria, we picked so many A. campestris (and needed to use up any foodstuffs requiring refrigeration) that I ended up riffing a variation on a Sicilian cucina povera classic: Sucu Fintu sauce.

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Sucu fintu with wild mushrooms, wild sorrel, grape tomatoes, boiled eggs, and a packet of red sauce left in our bunkhouse’s communal kitchen by a fellow traveler.