Freshly foraged oyster mushrooms on toasted brioche. (Had a bread shortage that day) OMG it was soooo delicious! Despite the exceptionally dry weather and parched ground, I spied the mushrooms on a shady log. Within 10 minutes I had got them home and fried them in some butter for my lunch. Since then, I have been walking the dog round all my mushroom spots in the hope of finding some more, but I think that will be all until it rains. My friend pointed out that I could always buy some oyster mushrooms from the supermarket to sate my cravings, but where is the fun in that?
Continuing on the simple food theme, I have been making roasted tomato sauce, which is a perfect base for pasta dishes or the beginnings of a delicious soup. It is based on something I saw Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall make in his River Cottage series, but it is always popular in our house because it gives a much sweeter sauce.
Put a variety of tomatoes in a roasting tin. The cherry tomatoes are home grown and the larger tomatoes are from the market. Stab them with a knife. Sprinkle them with salt, pepper and olive oil and pop in a medium hot oven. You can add herbs, onion or garlic too for a taste variation. I used a few sprigs of thyme. When it is cooled, whizz it up with a stick blender and season to taste.
I have also been blessed on the egg front too, having received a regular supply from a friend (Thanks Jo and girls) who keep their own hens. Aren't these the most beautiful coloured eggs ever? Anyone for Green Eggs and Ham? Her children even decorate the boxes :-) Could eggs get anymore fun than this?
We have green woodpeckers locally, but it was still a surprise to find this one perched on the tree just outside my kitchen door. You can just about make out the green body in the centre on the quick snapshot I took.
The house in the background has had PV panels fitted too - so many have been fitted in our area this summer! I am glad people are taking advantage of this incentive to reduce their energy bills and carbon emissions :-)
It should have been doomed to failure, as I also had to calculate everything into metric units, so there were plenty of opportunities for mistakes. But it was a success. A very delicious, grown-up cake which works well with a carrot cake type topping.
My youngest daughter refused to try it because the mixture looked rather disagreeable and the cakes had green flecks in them, so there was no denying the courgette content. I have frozen individual slices that can be de-frosted as a quick treat.
The second cake was a chocolate cake by Not Just Greenfingers. Actually it should be a traybake, but as we had some strawberries and cream in the fridge it became a rather large layer cake at the last minute, with a crocodile smile! This was more successful with the kids, mainly because the courgettes were peeled and grated finely so no green lumps! It was a very moist chocolatey cake, but still incredibly light and fluffy. It didn't last long.
I have frozen some grated courgette and will definitely be making these again, so thanks very much for the recipes ladies :-)