Edible British Plants and Foraging for Food

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Post by Ad'lan » Mon Oct 29, 2007 8:39 am

However, a Pine cone is resinous and makes a useful bit of kindling (better than green pine anyway), and the seeds, winkled out with a needle, are very tasty.


Do you think we should Include shell fish in this? as they don't move much, unlike animals?
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Post by Hudson » Mon Oct 29, 2007 10:47 am

Brash wrote: A long running in joke with some friends of mine. Basically, you're not really hungry unless you are considering eating a pine cone whole and are willing to deal with the consequnces of your actions when the thing has to come back out. :lol:
:shock:

You could have warned me BEFORE.

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Post by Brash » Mon Oct 29, 2007 8:33 pm

Ad'lan wrote:However, a Pine cone is resinous and makes a useful bit of kindling (better than green pine anyway), and the seeds, winkled out with a needle, are very tasty.


Do you think we should Include shell fish in this? as they don't move much, unlike animals?
Why not. If you're out looking for Laver who's going to turn down fresh razor clam whilst you're at it? :D
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Post by doc66 » Mon Oct 29, 2007 10:01 pm

Kinda of cool that most of these things I've eaten already. I've found many of them either here in Ohio, Michigan or my home state of Tennessee. There's dome that are not seem here, or I haven't seen them, but I have to wonder just how many of them were dragged across the ocean on the sleeve of an unsuspecting traveler one way or the other.

Chicken of the Woods are great, that pic you have is enviable. Most of what I find is not that largely clustered.

Do you have puff balls over there? This year they were kind of scarce but last year a Buddy and I ate them until we couldn't stand them any longer. We had puff balls for breakfast dinner, supper. It was great.

Thanks for all of this.

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Post by Ad'lan » Tue Oct 30, 2007 3:57 am

doc66 wrote: Do you have puff balls over there? This year they were kind of scarce but last year a Buddy and I ate them until we couldn't stand them any longer. We had puff balls for breakfast dinner, supper. It was great.
Do ye think that might be why they are scarse this year :roll: :lol:

We do indeed have puffballs

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They Come in Many different species, sizes and varietes. And All true Puffballs are edible. When adult and of a large growing species (ie: fairly big) there is no chance of mistaking them for another species). When they are young or from a smaller growing species (egg size and less) they are possible to confuse with young mushrooms of other species, so the way to check is to cut them open with a sharp knife. Puff balls will be smooth all the way through, while other misrooms will show signs of a cap, or of frills or gills or some such.

Giant puffballs are a particular favourite of mine, getting to about of football (soccor) in size, topped and with the inside scooped out, they can be refilled with a mixture of the inside, other mushrooms and game, which you panfry. Then refilled with this panfried mixture and baked.

Delicious.
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Post by Brash » Tue Oct 30, 2007 7:50 am

Be careful with puffballs though. Egg stage amanitas look just like puffballs, so you could accidentally eat a baby fly agaric, death cap or destroying angel. None of which are good for you. If you slice a puffball open though it will be solid white all the way through. Amanitas will have developing gills and the outline of an emerging cap.
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Post by KayGee » Tue Oct 30, 2007 6:23 pm

Speaking of the Death Cap, another of the DONT EVER EAT THIS THING!!!!! foods.

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If the choice is starving to death or eating a deathcap, starve to death. Its the far far far better option. First you have terrible stomach ache, vomitting and diarrhea. Then a few days after that you have a fever, hallucination's and in some cases slip into a coma. A few days after that, you feel perfectly fine and normal as though nothing had happened. A few days after that you die.

Sneaky little bastard looks almost exactly like ordinary edible mushrooms aswell, so beware when picking mushrooms.


Also in my experience the larger, softer and darker the blackberry, the sweeter it tastes. I personally prefer the tiny purple ones that are so hard you could use it as a bullet. If it doesn't turn your lips inside out after you bite into it, it isnt a proper blackberry 8)

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Post by Brash » Tue Oct 30, 2007 6:28 pm

Yeah, common danger signs of the amanita family, such as the death cap, are a bulbous base, a frill or skirt on the stem and white gills and spores. If you spot those leave well alone. This is why it's usually not a good idea to eat fungus unless you've been shown by an expert what won't kill you.
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Post by Ad'lan » Tue Oct 30, 2007 6:35 pm

KayGee wrote:
Sneaky little bastard looks almost exactly like ordinary edible mushrooms aswell, so beware when picking mushrooms.
One important point to mention is the thing that lets you identify similar mushrooms as different is it has white gills, and it has a ring (the collar around the bottom, which other edible and similar looking species lack).

However, never, ever identify mushrooms with only the internet as your guide. always have at least two sources, preferably one them an experianced mushroom hunter.

NEVER EAT MUSHROOMS unless you your self can identify, or someone you trust with your life has identified it.

Species I consider sae enough for my self to identify without checking:
Beef Stake Fungus
Field Mushrooms
Chicken in the woods
Puffballs.


Edit: Dam, ninjad by Brash
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Post by Brash » Tue Oct 30, 2007 6:42 pm

Ad'lan wrote: Edit: Dam, ninjad by Brash
It's important enough to say twice. :D
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Post by Brash » Tue Jan 15, 2008 6:48 pm

Bump.

This is a place holder post to remind me to add more stuff to this thread. :D
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Post by Drake122 » Wed Jan 16, 2008 2:33 am

Acorn

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The Common Oak Acorn can be eaten, however it takes a little while to prepare out in the wilderness.

First go out and collect as many Acorns as you can, collect the ripe ones off the ground or put a sheet under a limb and shake any of the acorns off. You'll need to collect at least three times as many as you think you need.

Then you put them in a basket in open sun light for a day or you can cheat and bung them in a slow oven for an hour. This kills any insects or larvae within the shell.

Next start to take the shell off and remove the kernal, if a corky layer clings to it, take that off as well.

Next you'll need to wash them in running water, I'd suggest keeping them in a fast flowing stream for a day or two. An easy method is to boil them in a pot of water for 15 minutes, the water should turn brown, toss out this brown water and replace again and keep doing so several times until the water becomes clear, this can roughly take 2 to 3 hours depending on the amount of acid in the acorns. This removes the acid within the acorns and removes the bitter taste, if you don't remove this acid constant amounts of acorns can cause kidney damage.

Next after the Acorns have had most of their acid washed away, they would turned a darker brown and become ready to eat. They serve well as snacks while on the move and can be used well with other dishes as a nutty salad. I like them lightly salted with a bit of melting butter as the taste on their own is like boiled chestnuts.

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Post by geoff88 » Thu Jan 17, 2008 2:21 am

Hi all,
I think you have missed out some of the best fungi from your list.
Chanterelle
Penny Bun (Boletus Edulis)
Common Morel

For the other plants there is Glasswort which is one of my favorites.

Sorry dont have time to link pictures to then atm.

Geoff

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Post by Brash » Thu Jan 17, 2008 8:40 am

I'll look them up and find some pictures. Thanks Geoff.
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Post by MarkTBSc » Thu Jan 17, 2008 10:28 am

Common and Shaggy ink-caps. Both edible mushrooms. Both look very similar.

Downside? If you eat a common ink-cap before or after alcohol then you die. And it isn't pleasant.

Sloes. Small purple berries that grow on Sloe bushes. Sharp flavour to them... Unpleasantly sharp in fact, but edible and can be used to make rather delicious Sloe Gin.

Red, Black and White currents. Small spherical berries, similar to Sloes, grow on bushes in some areas. Again, sharp but edible. Better used to make Ribena.

Raspberries, Taeberries, Gooseberries... I'll post more on all this stuff later. I'll have to go rummaging through the 'rents wildlife library.
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Post by geoff88 » Thu Jan 17, 2008 1:57 pm

You dont die from the Common Ink Cap and alcohol, but it is unpleasant. The drug given to alcoholics to stop them drinking is derived from it IIRC.

There is also Parasol Mushroom and the Wood Blewit, I have not tried the Blewit so cant say how good it is but it is said to be like veal.

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Re:

Post by Brash » Tue May 20, 2008 7:09 pm

Brash wrote:
Ad'lan wrote: Do you think we should Include shell fish in this? as they don't move much, unlike animals?
Why not. If you're out looking for Laver who's going to turn down fresh razor clam whilst you're at it? :D
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Razor clams are so called because their shell looks like the blade of a straight razor. You gather them just as the tide turns by looking for their little holes or dimples. There are three ways to gather them. The hardest is with a shovel because they will shoot out their 'foot' and try to haul them selves deeper when they feel you dig. The easyish way is with a tube. You sink it into the wet sand over the sign, close the top and pull out a section of the beach hopefully with the clam in there. The easiest method by far though is salt. Just drop salt on the hole and watch them pop up. Here is a video I found to demonstrate this method.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1N_8ysqBpvo

To cook them simply make a fire and burn it down to embers. Rake out the embers and lay the clam on them and then cover them up for about five minutes. Make sure the embers are hot. Careful when pulling them out because the shell will hold a lot of heat. Use a stick. Crack them open and that long muscle they use to dig themselves deper should be white and the whole thing is edible and delicious. If you have more recipes for these things I'd love to hear them. :D
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Re: Edible British Plants

Post by Ad'lan » Wed May 21, 2008 6:35 am

Important when Gathering Razor Clams is to put them in a bucket or on a rock, not just leave them on the beach, because they will bury themselves again.

Also, becareful and aware of the tides, getting stuck as it comes in would suck, and possibly end in your death by drowning.


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Limpets, a much underated seafood in the UK, they are tasty, and come in rings, a little like calamari. They can be found in the tidal areas, clinging to rocks and other fixed objects, when active, they are like snails, eating the algae very slowly. This makes them generally safer than filter feeders, like muscles and oysters, as less pollutants will build up in their flesh.

They stick, well, like limpets. Making them very tough to remove, a thin bladed knife can be slid between their shell and the surface they cling to, allowing them to be prised off. This is much easier if the limpet is undisterbed, and not sticking as hard to the surface, so be very, very quiet, and use soft footfalls, and they can be pulled off by hand.

To cook, you can do them whole, or take out the meat first. Doing them whole, place them on a rock, and stick them in the embers of a fire (you can even bake them like this, underneath a covering of embers and soil with more fire ontop.

when they are done (depending how hot the fire, size ect. 15-30 minutes), then you can take the shell off, and remove the inner organs (they come away easily) leaving you the central muscle ring and foot. This is a tasty bit of protein.

Alternativly, you can deshell, and remove the inner organs first, and cook them however you like, boiled, roast, baked, fried, whatever.

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The Common Mussel, can be found all across the Uk, on sea breaks, sand traps, Groynes in particular.

But I've never cooked it, all I know is that if you boil them, they should all float, or all sink, but I couldn't tell you which one was which. I'll leave that to someone who does know.
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Re: Edible British Plants

Post by Brash » Wed May 21, 2008 9:28 am

I've never had mussels nor have I cooked them so I'm not sure on that one. Might have to google that and find out. You're right about the razor clams digging back in. They are deceptively fast and if they get in the sand and you lose sight of them then forget it. They can dig faster than I can. :oops: :lol:

Oh yeah, with the limpets the inner organs turn into a blackish brownish bubble on top of the meat when cooked and just peels away like Ad'lan said. Just wanted folks to know what the organs looked like.

I think I'll do winkles next as we're talking about algae grazing shellfish being safer than filter feeders. I've had snails but I've never tried sea snails. I know lots of folks who love winkling though so I'll look it up for everyone.
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Re: Edible British Plants

Post by Brash » Wed May 21, 2008 9:46 am

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The common edible periwinkle. Usually found in great numbers in rockpools all over Britain, although I've just read that they are a delicacy in Africa and Asia too and can also be found in the high tide zone of most estuaries. Who knew?

Gathering them is easy, you just twist them off the rocks. They're certainly not as tough as Limpets. They are slightly harder to prepare though. You cook them by washing them off then dropping them in boiling water for 5-10 minutes. Once they're done you have to get a large pin or a sharp kebab skewer and winkle out the meat. Serve with vinegar and pepper.
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Re: Edible British Plants

Post by ArtfulDodger » Wed May 21, 2008 3:55 pm

Ad'lan wrote: The Common Mussel, can be found all across the Uk, on sea breaks, sand traps, Groynes in particular.

But I've never cooked it, all I know is that if you boil them, they should all float, or all sink, but I couldn't tell you which one was which. I'll leave that to someone who does know.
I cook mussels every so often.

Rinse and pick them over for mud or other debris. Any mussels that don't close when you tap them should be discarded, as these are dead & probably rotting.

I usually throw them in a steamer with chopped garlic, onions, and fresh parsley, with white wine and olive oil in the bottom. Close it up, bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce heat and cook for 7 or 8 minutes. All the mussels should open. If a lot are still closed, give it another minute or two of steaming. Discard any mussels that don't open by the time you are done.

The steaming liquid is really flavorful, and I serve the mussels in that, with plenty of good bread for dipping. If you want to get fancy, you can thicken the liquid by boiling it down and adding some corn starch or a roux.

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Re: Edible British Plants

Post by Brash » Wed May 21, 2008 4:18 pm

Thanks Dodger! :D

I should probably edit the title of this thread as it's expanded beyond just plants.
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Re: Edible British Plants and Foraging for Food

Post by L1Z4RD » Thu May 22, 2008 9:57 pm

Wow, this thread brings back many a de-railing memory.
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Re: Edible British Plants and Foraging for Food

Post by mad_mogly » Wed May 28, 2008 5:05 pm

i watched ray mears on tv cooking common muscles, he just sat them on a rock and poured hot ash from his fire over them he said it was a tastey way of cooking them.
i think he left them under the hot ashes for 20 mins until they opened ...... just a thought .........

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