Saturday 5 September 2009

The Prelude

One of the great things about Glasgow is how quickly you can get out of it. After weeks in the rainy city, I was seized by a Wordsworthian urge to flee man's inhumanity and seek solace in a rural idyll. That's not true, but if asked I'd have come up with any old crap save the truth. It wasn't aeolian visitations I was after, but something far more elusive, and secrecy was paramount. In the car-park it seemed man's indelible mark was inescapable. Vandals.

Mr Pikey seems positively cheeky from this description. Perhaps they should add, " I like eating children's fingers too". Which they probably do. 'Edgy Woodland Walks', much more fun than 'Educational' ones. Still, there was a helpful map and guide.

Wow, that's a long way in a little time, well if the kids can do it, so can I.
Heading off, and just around the corner from the place where me and a pal once found 4 kg of fresh porcini, I spot a good omen.

Too far gone but smelling gorgeous and a sign they're about. Lucky slugs. Rounding the bend I get excited in anticipation, then...

Aaargh, what was the best porcini spot ever now looks like a WW1 battle ground. Bloody foresters. Nothing to do but carry on.

Although I've not been here for a few years I still recognise bits and spy a copse that always seemed perfect for mushrooms, yet I've never found anything edible there. I almost walked past this time too, while wondering what the squishy yellow things were...

wait a minute, bright egg yolk yellow squishy things...

Bingo! Lucky too because I've never seen chanterelles this submerged before. There were loads and they absolutely reeked of, as they should, apricot. Loaded up, I head off. Some time later I spy this. There are quite a few in this picture. See if you can spot them.

I pick a few more and leave the rest. Cycle of life and all that.

A little further on a sign suggests that I'm just two miles from the car-park. At this rate it'll take a lot more than two hours to cover ten miles. Oh well, it's a lovely day for a walk.

My feet are getting rather sore by the time another sign lets me know there's still some way to go. Kids must have more stamina these days.

I spot another porcini, what a cracker this would have been in it's prime.

It's possible to cut out the good stuff and dry it on racks. Perfect for cooking. I used to, before rashly admitting what the wriggly white things that fell out on to the kitchen worktop were. So that's not allowed anymore.

By now I'm no longer convinced walking is all it's cracked up to be. My feet are blistered and I'm starving. Eventually, after considerably more time than advertised, I'm back at the car-park. This time I take a closer look at the sign.

What a plonker. Anyway, back home my booty was washed and laid out to dry. As I mentioned, they have a pronounced apricot aroma. So my plan is to make a risotto and get a bottle of either viognier or albarino to drink with it. They're the only two wines I can think of with apricot tendencies, but other suggestions gratefully received. If I haven't made some dreadful 'Horse Whispering author'-like mistake, the results will get posted later this weekend.

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