About Me
I'm a Melbourne boy, hailing from St Kilda with one ex, one current wife and four kids. Love the outdoors and making new discoveries. I cook a lot at home (cheers from wife) and do some preserving, mostly jams, pickles and fruit liqueurs. This is the diary of a cooking journey.

My Complete Profile

Recent Posts
Leftover Rollups
Cast The First Stone
Cure All
Whack Wednesday - one day late.
The Nugget Man
Strange Brew
My Town
Carve It Up
Party Help
Devil's Own Food

1001 Dinners 1001 Nights
A Few of My Favourite Things
Abstract Gourmet
Apellation Australia
Becks and Posh
BurgerMary ATX
Cook (almost) Anything at least once
Cooking Down Under
Cook sister!
Cooked And Bottled In Brunswick
David Lebovitz
Deep Dish Dreams
Chef Paz
Chubby Hubby
Eating Melbourne
Eating With Jack
essjay eats
Food Lover's Journey
Grab Your Fork
I Am Obsessed With Food
I Eat Therefore I Am
Iron Chef Shellie
Just Desserts
Kalyn's Kitchen
Kitchen Wench
Matt Bites
Melbourne Gastronome
My Kitchen in Half Cups
Nola Cuisine
Not Quite Nigella
Nourish Me
Seriously Good
Souvlaki For The Soul
Stone Soup
Syrup and Tang
Steve Don't Eat It!
That Jess Ho
The Elegant Sufficiency
The Perfect Pantry
The View From My Porch
Thyme for Cooking
Tumeric & Saffron
tummy rumbles
What I Cooked Last Night
where's the beef
Vicious Ange

Food Blog Resources
Food Blog S'cool
I Eat I Drink I Work
Kiplog Food Links

Food for Thought
Autism Victoria
Autism Vox
forget me now
Lotus Martinis
MOM - Not Otherwise Specified
St Kilda Today

Thursday, April 06, 2006
Weather Change
A big ol' honkin' low pressure system has made its way up from the Southern ocean, bringing showers and cold winds in its wake. In Victoria we prosaically call it a cool change, in New South Wales they call it a southerly buster and they should know as one of these systems busted up Australia's best known yacht race, the Sydney to Hobart, killing six sailors in 1998.

This system brings typical winter weather here, cold and wet with snowfall on the alps, and the one that is hovering over us now has signaled the end of fine autumn weather. Which is making me rather happy.

You see cold, wet weather + autumn = mushrooms.

We were out and about last weekend, and our travels took us to Red Hill on the Mornington Peninsula, where we stopped off at an apple orchard to get new season apples. Bags of the aptly named golden delicious, red delicious, gala, the lovely old timer, snow apples as well as packham pears made their way to our car boot. I was talking to Elsie at the orchard and she was telling me in a couple of weeks they will have cox's orange pippin and johnogold apples as well as all the other varieties.

While we were in the area, we stopped off to stretch our legs in a picnic area. As we wandered we saw signs of someone already picking, then we found a couple of slippery jacks, a bit old to be bothered with, but there they were. Mushrooms.

Funnily we don't often pick field mushrooms (agaricus spp.), mostly we get slippery jacks (suillus luteus) and saffron milk caps (lactarius deliciosus) and we have a couple of secret spots where we find birch mushrooms (leccinum scabrum). We also have friends who have planted silver birch trees just to get birch mushrooms, which they do every year.

Usually we dry the slippery jacks for use in stews or pirogies later on. With the saffron milk caps, we eat as many as we can before we get sick of them, or we bottle them up for a nice addition to a salad or just as a snack with maybe a shot of vodka. Our favourite way to cook them is to flour them and fry quickly in oil, they don't taste strongly of mushroom and have a crunchy texture. We have been known to have nothing else for dinner except saffron milk caps.

A couple of years ago, we had only one chance in the season to look for them, as we were pretty busy with other things. So we drove to our spots for a look. Our daughter M was with us, she was three and a real handful at the time. Looking around and chasing after M, we didn't find much, so we decided to go to one last spot. On the way M fell asleep, we turned off the main road and there before us was a green patch of grass that had been recently mown. It was completely covered with saffron milk caps, none was bigger than 7 cm (3") in diameter, the perfect size for eating. We filled a fruit box with them and just as we were finishing, some mushroomers came from the other direction. These mushrooms were meant just for us.

Now for the warning. Never pick and eat mushrooms you don't know and recognize. The death cap (amanita phalloides) looks a lot like a field mushroom and didn't get its name for nothing. We commonly call poisonous species toadstools, from the German todesstuhl, meaning death's stool, and there is no rule of thumb for differentiating between mushrooms and toadstools. Even for experts identification can be tricky. Some friends of ours picked a mushroom on their farm and brought it to me for identification. After a search I managed to find the genus but not the species, so I took it to a mycologist at the Royal Botanic Gardens and he narrowed it down to two types, one was poisonous, the other edible. The only way to tell the difference was to leave the mushroom on some paper and inspect the resulting spore that fell out, if it was yellow it was poisonous, if it was white we could eat it. I threw it away.
  posted at 11:14 am

At 8:06 am, Blogger Reb said...

Very evocative description of cooking the SMC's fresh. I remember the best mushies I ever had were in the Chianti region at little farmhouse resto - fresh picked porcini, simply sliced, breaded and fried. Deeeeeee-vine! Lucky you for having such nice mushies to eat!

At 6:41 pm, Blogger neil said...

Hi Reb, I would trade places with you any day! Fortunately I know where to buy frozen fresh porcini here, not quite as good, but still very tasty, and there is always the mysterious letters my wife gets from Poland with something dried inside ;-)

At 6:17 am, Blogger fgthtyhsrty said...

off white hoodie
curry 7
supreme clothing
curry shoes
jordan shoes
lebron james shoes
off white t shirt
lebron 17 shoes
golden goose sneakers
steph curry shoes


Post a Comment

<< Home


Recipe Categories
Cakes & Desserts

November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
May 2009
June 2009
September 2009
October 2009
November 2009
December 2009
January 2010
February 2010
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010
June 2010
July 2010
August 2010
September 2010
October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
February 2011
March 2011
April 2011
May 2011
June 2011
July 2011
August 2011
September 2011
July 2012

Prev ~ List ~ Random ~ Join ~ Next
Site Ring from Bravenet

Site Feed

counter easy hit

Blog Design by:

Image created by:
Ximena Maier

Powered by:

Photos, Original Recipes, and Text - (C) Copyright: 2005-2010
At My Table by Neil Murray, all rights reserved.
You may re-post a recipe, please give credit and post a link to this site.

Contact Me
Neil Murray

Follow messytable on Twitter