Sunday, October 12, 2008

Food to be picked up

This afternoon, while strolling up the road with Sophia, I encountered the fellow whose dog recently found truffles on my lawn. He was out driving with his wife, their child and dogs. They had found huge quantities of mushrooms in a nearby valley, and gave me a big bag full.

The beige ones are hedgehog mushrooms [Hydnum repandum, French hydne sinué, pieds de mouton]. The others are black trumpets, also called horns of plenty [Craterellus cornucopioides, French trompettes de la mort]. These two mushroom species have become popular in France for the simple reason that they're often available in supermarkets. The hedgehog mushrooms (so-called because of their spiky underside) will be fine for an omelette tomorrow. As for the black trumpets, they can be dried and eaten later on.

Meanwhile, I've carried on gathering walnuts and apples.

I wash the walnuts rapidly in chlorinated water, then leave them to dry. As usual, I'll peel, slice and prepare the apples so that can be kept in the deep freezer, enabling me to cook apple pies right throughout the year. Sophia, too, consumes walnuts and apples several times a day.

Whenever she brings an apple back to the lawn in front of the house, she starts a kind of ritual, moving around while playing with the fruit and sniffing it, waiting for the ideal time and place to devour it. My dear dog has a truly Epicurean respect for fine fresh food.

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