A taste of autumn

First, a little “news”. You may have noticed that advertisements have begun to appear randomly at The Weekend Woodsman. Not having changed any settings or signed up with any programs related to this, I was pretty surprised when I started seeing them. I guess WordPress has started to randomly insert ads at some blogs. Since I don’t pay anything to maintain the blog (apart from a Photobucket subscription), I guess I can’t really complain, but I’d rather not have the ads there. I’m not sure, but I think the only way to remove the ads is to move to a paid subscription where I purchase a domain name etc. I’ll have to look into it. Now on to today’s post! 🙂

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In the north, summers are short and sweet. It seems that just as quickly as summer comes, the air again turns cool and crisp, the golden sun hangs lower in the sky and the days grow progressively shorter, hinting at winter. In the first week of September, the Woodsfamily visited the Woods-mother-in-law’s cabin to catch some of the last warm rays of the year.

When we arrived, the in-laws had just returned from the deer ked-infested forest with a basket of mushrooms. I’m not that knowledgeable in this area, and I forgot to ask the names of the mushrooms they picked, so I gave my best general guesses below (corrections/confirmations welcome!). Disclaimer: Consuming wild edibles is done at your own risk. Always be 100% certain of what you are eating. If unsure, contact an expert.

I believe this is one of the boletes:

This could be a milkcap:

And lastly, one with which I am very familiar, the chantarelle (cantharellus cibarius):

The cow berries, aka lingonberries, are now ripe, but I prefer to eat them after the first frost has mellowed some of the tartness. These berries are full of natural preservatives, and I often find them still on the plant and somewhat edible in the spring when the snow is melting!

Of course, you can’t have autumn without changing leaves, so here you go (these are downy birch):

Last, but certainly not least, I’d like to leave you with a recipe for rowan berry jelly graciously submitted by Skaukraft of Skaukraft Blog. Thanks, SK!:

Rowan Berry Jelly:

This jelly is best if you harvest the berries after a frosty night or two, or you can put the berries in your freezer for a night or two.

1 kg (2.2 lbs.) of rowan berries
1.5 deciliters (5 oz.) of water
800 to 900 g (1.75 to 2 lbs.) of sugar per liter of juice

Clean and rinse the berries. Boil the water, add the berries and let boil for 10 minutes or until the juice comes out. Strain the mixture through a cloth until it stops dripping (you can also use a steamer for boiling the berries in a water bath).

Measure the juice and let it boil for 5 minutes. Add sugar gradually. The sugar must be added gradually so that it dissolves. Boil, then gel gently for about 20 minutes without a lid and without stirring.

To test the jelly, pour some jelly in a bowl and put it in the fridge. When it is cooled down, pull a teaspoon through it. If the jelly doesn’t flow back, it is ready. If it has boiled enough, remove the pan from the heat for a few minutes. Scoop the jelly into hot clean glasses. I prefer to use glasses with a screw lid. Screw it tight while it is still steaming hot. Store the glasses in a cool and dark place.

With the amount of sugar involved, this isn’t a jam you use on your bread every day, but it is a great taste additive to go with meat!

-Skaukraft

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6 comments on “A taste of autumn

  1. Duncan says:

    It’s always good to have someone mentoring you on edible mushrooms. There’s a couple that I pick and eat but otherwise, I abstain due to my lack of knowledge. I figure that it’s better to skip a meal than eat something poisonous. BTW – You are correct about the ads. Although you’re not required to buy a domain name, you can purchase a “no ads” upgrade that will make them disappear. It’s kind of an aggravation. But then again, WordPress offers us mostly free services so i guess they have to make some money or at least come out even.

    • The Woods-mother-in-law is good with them. I just forgot to ask her before we left. I’m sure there are people who read the blog who know their mushrooms, so hopefully they’ll chime in and help out this time. 🙂

      You’re right about the ads. I’ll look into the options and figure out what to do.

  2. Ron says:

    Autumn caught up with us since yesterday!
    No more sunny, warm days, but wind and rain. The leaves change colour even faster now.
    Learning about mushrooms…. Just one more thing on the to-learn-list….. I haven’ät had the time for that this year, but am already making arrangements with someone to teach me next year.

    And yes, I got that recipe too. I’ll pop a load of those berries in the freezer coming weekend.

  3. Bush n' Blade says:

    Yes it is getting cold and I am having capsizing practice tomorrow for canoe and kayak;)

    Thanks for the Rowan berry receipt. Will try it when got time.

    The milkcap… That looks like suppilovahvero but watch out, there is very similar lolling poisnouse one common in this season.

    The boletes… That could be Lehmantatti.

    • Oh, capsizing practice in the autumn sounds like fun! 😉

      Thanks for the mushroom suggestions! The ones in the pictures above are definitely edible, as they were collected by “seasoned pickers”. 😉 I will check out your suggestions and then have them verified.

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