Rothay Manor Blog

Five Go Foraging

“Let’s go foraging” exclaimed Jamie, “it’s Autumn now and I’m sure we will be able to find lots of yummy mushrooms”. “But how do we know if they’re edible?” asked Dan. “I know an expert” said Jamie, mysteriously. So it was decided, and the five, Jamie, Dan, Cameron, Steve and Wren the dog booked a day to go foraging.

They could barely contain their excitement when the day arrived. Dan was busy gathering useful equipment together – knives and scissors, a notepad and a pencil. Cameron had brought along his library of mushroom books, and was busy trying to commit them all to memory. Steve had a great deal to do, for he was tasked with making the picnic – sandwiches, and sausage rolls, and scones, of course, with clotted cream and home-made jam. Jamie had the very important job of bottling the ginger beer. Meanwhile Wren was outside, bounding and prancing with excitement, she loved to go on an adventure!

Amethyst Deceiver

They all bundled in the car and off to Grizedale Forest they went. At the forest they met with David Winnaird from Discover The Wild and started to explore. They searched and scoured the earth, but there was not a mushroom to be found. “Where are all the mushrooms?” moaned Jamie, “we’ve been looking for ages”. “One day they will be here, the next they won’t, that’s the beauty of foraging” said David, wisely. But it wasn’t long before they stumbled upon a pocket of Amethyst Deceiver’s. Dan got very excited, thinking of all the new dishes he could use this edible mushroom in, and already had great ideas of drying them and turning them into a powder. Wren wasn’t quite as excited, she’d rather be chasing bunny rabbits.

“Look at this toadstool!” exclaimed Cameron, “it looks as though it should have an elf sitting next to it!” He was looking at Amanita Muscaria, which if consumed can lead to hallucinogenic experiences. David told them a tale from Siberia, where Siberians would notice reindeer behaving drunk after ingesting the funghi, they would then drink the reindeer urine, to reap the hallucinogenic benefits. They then believed that the reindeer were flying! Wren looked away sheepishly, she’d already had a little taste of the mushroom before the tale was told.

Amanita Muscaria – Steeped in folklore

“Don’t touch those” shouted David, “that’s the Amanta Phalloides, or Death Cap, and is highly toxic!” The group thought it was best to move as far away from the area as possible, so continued their journey through the forest.

“I’m hungry” moaned Steve. “Me too” concurred Cameron. They all agreed that foraging was quite hard work, and it was best to have a little picnic and enjoy the delights that Steve had packed, with lashings of ginger beer, of course! It just so happened that they set up their picnic surrounded by a field of Chanterelles, so when they were finished they were able to collect handfuls of these popular, edible mushrooms. “I can’t wait to start cooking these” said Dan, “they are my absolute favourite”. With that, they all decided it was best to head home to Rothay Manor. They looked at the bounty that they had collected and felt happy and content. What a successful day they had had! They said their farewells to David, and thanked him for sharing his knowledge, and bundled back into the car. Wren was a little confused, as she was sure that the car was flying all the way home!

The Five booked their foraging adventure with http://www.discoverthewild.co.uk who will happily take you on your own foraging adventure the next time you stay at Rothay Manor.

(Please always err on the side of caution and if you’re unsure do not pick or consume any wild mushrooms, please seek an experts advice.)

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Ambleside, Cumbria, LA22 0EH

Telephone: 01539 433605
Email: hotel@rothaymanor.co.uk

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