Being something of the eternal student, it was inevitable that I would want to study my new-found passion for foraging in as much detail as possible. I have already devoured many books on the subject and irritated the life out my local librarians with my enquiries for even more. It seems not that many people in Birmingham ask for such books so the library’s stock is, frankly, paltry.
However, I learn best when listening to someone talk with knowledge and nothing beats first hand experience with an expert, does it? So, I have some courses lined up that I am very excited about. You see, foraging for me, is not just about finding something for nothing, although that is marvellous. It is not just about creating weird and wonderful combinations, though that is pretty good too. Nor is it simply about re-discovering an earlier way of life. For me, foraging has to be about all this AND turning it into something mouth-wateringly delicious. I love food. I love cooking. Above most things, I am a foodie, so taste is paramount. If it tastes crap, my brain will offload the information. I can but hope that it will store it in some dark recess in case of apocalyptic disaster when I may be grateful for any such knowledge as a means of survival. But until that day, I will not be using it.
Therefore, the opportunity to learn the foraging craft from people who can forage and cook is such stuff as dreams are made on. At least mine, at any rate. I have two such opportunities in the pipe line. Which is very exciting. The first one I booked is with the amazing Miles Irving, author of The Forager Handbook, possibly the most comprehensive book on foraging available. I really should write a review of it. I am going with my mother to a hotel in North Yorkshire and will be learning all about the possibilities autumn presents will a delicious slap up meal to conclude. Yum. Details of all the courses Miles runs are on his website.
I am also lucky enough to have a birthday in the autumn and extremely generous friends, one of whom has given me a day’s foraging course with her. This one is with another foraging guru, my first in fact. The lovely John Wright of River Cottage fame, and author of several books including Hedgerow, which I love. This time I will be learning about fungi with a fun guy. Sorry. Bad joke, but it had to be done. Details here, spaces still available I believe.
I shall, of course, keep you posted on how these go. Very excited about them both!