I cut a meadow for hay on Saturday. I don’t do a lot, around 250-300 small bales for the sheep. Sheep are not keen on wrapped haylage, even if it’s dry and sweet, they will eat it if pushed though much prefer good old fashioned hay. At last, after weeks of ‘yes we can’, oh, ‘no we can’t’, those fonts of all knowledge, the weather stations, predict four to five days of dryish weather (of course leaving a 10-20% error margin for rain just in case those super-advanced technical pieces of seaweed are having an off day).

Coming back from turning the hay a second time late yesterday afternoon I was confronted by two very dejected bored dogs waiting for my return in the yard. Feeling guilty I rushed them off for a quick walk. Going past the woods I notice the ground was covered with large patches of golden leaves. Funny. I thought and went for a closer look. Not leaves but carpets of chanterelles! Quickly taking off my cardi I began to pick – but there were too many. I dashed back home to get my basket and a knife. I picked and I picked.

Last night we had omelettes with chanterelles, tonight it was chanterelle risotto, tomorrow it’ll be a chanterelle strogonoff. And, to boot, I have trays of them drying out in the sun and on top of the Aga. A totally unexpected delicious bonus.

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