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Are these sweet chestnuts ?


Us 4 and Jess
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I have become quite the hunter gatherer, whilst out caching in the last couple of years..

 

Last year following a post from Alibags, (I am not sure if it was on here or on FB) we gathered sloes and made sloe gin, I think you are supposed to keep it for a year but we kept it 6 month and drank it at Christmas, very nice it was too.. Is it right what I was told that you are not meant to pick sloes until after the first frost?

 

This year we got a bottle of gin and halfed it we put Skittles (yes Skittles in one half) it was different!! :D and red current from my MiL garden in the other half, we are saving that half for Christmas to go with the Sloe Gin :blink:

 

Now the beech pods I picked yestreday, I left those on the bench over night and this morning they had split open, and each pod had 2 little nuts inside, am I right in thinking these are not edible?

 

When we found the beech pods yesterday we were actually out looking for blackberries we went to two differnet places and we would be lucky if we found 2 dozen blackberries, has it been a bad year for those??

 

On one of our regular walks with Jess there is an apple tree, we are talking big green sweet Granny Smith like apples they are georgeous, and a plum tree, beautiful sweet juicy plums, and a tree full of red red apples never seen them so red before we got loads yesterday, all three trees are absolutely laden with fruit, I could not understand how those kind of trees came to be along disused railway lines until my FiL said years ago the train drivers probably threw their apple cores and pips out of the windows as they went past!! Anyway there are quite a lot of pies and crumbles to be made with those, I was going to add blackberries too but as I said earlier we came back with very few.

 

There are also a huge amount but also a huge variety of mushrooms on our walk through the woods, but I am wary of those so walk on by, I can do without being poisoned :blink:

 

Next question elderberries there are huge amounts around, what can you do with those, can I wash them pick them and chuck those into gin or vodka??

 

I will keep looking for a sweet chestnut tree and ask the locals if they know the where abouts of any, as that is something else I would like to try..

 

If any of you foragers out there have any info I would be very interested

 

Mandy :D

Edited by Us 4 and Jess
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Beech nuts are perfectly edible; you're just lucky to have got to them before the squirrels do! It's a long time since I ate any.

 

Waitrose is selling cobnuts just now, so I have some in the kitchen (not sure where my local cobnut tree would be!). And it won't be long till the brambles are out.

 

Skittles in gin? That's a new one on me!

 

[hic!] :laughing:

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I have become quite the hunter gatherer, whilst out caching in the last couple of years..

 

Last year following a post from Alibags, (I am not sure if it was on here or on FB) we gathered sloes and made sloe gin, I think you are supposed to keep it for a year but we kept it 6 month and drank it at Christmas, very nice it was too.. Is it right what I was told that you are not meant to pick sloes until after the first frost?

 

This year we got a bottle of gin and halfed it we put Skittles (yes Skittles in one half) it was different!! :D and red current from my MiL garden in the other half, we are saving that half for Christmas to go with the Sloe Gin :blink:

 

Now the beech pods I picked yestreday, I left those on the bench over night and this morning they had split open, and each pod had 2 little nuts inside, am I right in thinking these are not edible?

 

When we found the beech pods yesterday we were actually out looking for blackberries we went to two differnet places and we would be lucky if we found 2 dozen blackberries, has it been a bad year for those??

 

On one of our regular walks with Jess there is an apple tree, we are talking big green sweet Granny Smith like apples they are georgeous, and a plum tree, beautiful sweet juicy plums, and a tree full of red red apples never seen them so red before we got loads yesterday, all three trees are absolutely laden with fruit, I could not understand how those kind of trees came to be along disused railway lines until my FiL said years ago the train drivers probably threw their apple cores and pips out of the windows as they went past!! Anyway there are quite a lot of pies and crumbles to be made with those, I was going to add blackberries too but as I said earlier we came back with very few.

 

There are also a huge amount but also a huge variety of mushrooms on our walk through the woods, but I am wary of those so walk on by, I can do without being poisoned :blink:

 

Next question elderberries there are huge amounts around, what can you do with those, can I wash them pick them and chuck those into gin or vodka??

 

I will keep looking for a sweet chestnut tree and ask the locals if they know the where abouts of any, as that is something else I would like to try..

 

If any of you foragers out there have any info I would be very interested

 

Mandy :D

You're right about sloes; wait until after the first frost.

The blackberry season was over a couple of weeks ago around here. There are still a few but not much cop any more.

Sweet Chestnut trees are very common if you can find a bit of deciduous woodland.

Elderberries are superb for wine!

 

As for mushrooms; you're well advised to walk on by unless you know what you're doing. And even then triple check before eating anything. Most toadstools are not poisonous if prepared correctly, but it's a forage for the expert really.

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As for mushrooms; you're well advised to walk on by unless you know what you're doing. And even then triple check before eating anything. Most toadstools are not poisonous if prepared correctly, but it's a forage for the expert really.

 

Puffballs, sliced and fried in butter.... Beats anything you'll find in Sainsburys

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We started foraging before we started caching, but the 2 pursuits go perfectly together. New foraging spots have been discovered many a time while out looking for a cache.

 

Elderberry vodka works.

They make a lovely fruit leather, and if you want something completely different try making pontack sauce.

Can also be chucked in crumbles (apple and elderberry is good)or used as a makeweight alongside blackerries in any dish if you only get a few.

Also keep in mind the haws (proper name, honest) and the hips both make good fruit leathers and can flavour any spirit you want.

If you're game all the berry type treats bunged into a jam together make an amazing hedgerow jelly.

 

The fruit leathers are also great to take out caching, bonus!

 

If you're interested in foraging a little while caching I highly recommend getting Food for Free by Richard Maybe. The collins gem version fits nicely n a pocket and opens up a whole new world while you're out and about.

 

Mushrooms are a different ballgame, although some are simple enough to identify and are hard confused with anything else. There is NO mistaking a giant puffball and Pharisee s right, tastes beautiful. Not a touch on chanterelles though.

Shaggy Inkcap and parasols are fairly easy to identify too.

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And again......are these sweet chestnuts? I think I have it right this time :unsure:

 

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If they are when is the best time to pick them? And what is the best way to cook them?

 

Another couple of questions..

 

Are acorns edible?

 

What do you do with bilberries? I can't find mucn info on those at all, but there are lots near a cache of mine..

 

I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to this thread, I have found it very interesting and educational.

 

Mandy :D

Edited by Us 4 and Jess
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Those are indeed sweet chestnuts. Harvest time is around Sept-Oct when they start to fall naturally. You can roast them, boil them, steam them etc. Acorns are edible and used to form a large part of human diet although not so much these days. They do contain a lot of tannins though which can make them rather bitter. Traditionally they were peeled and soaked for several days to remove the tannins - chopping them up and soaking them in several changes of water until it stays clear should have the same effect. Bilberries? Pick them and eat them - they're delicious!

Edited by Betelgeuse
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Well after years of competition as a kid seeing who can p** highest up the wall I can tell you most boys (and me) can get WELL above waist height

 

 

I knew a girl once who could beat any boy at this game.

 

She used to stand on her hands!

 

I wonder where she is now, still the wife would probably disapprove of her skills, so it's probably better not to know.

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What you have there are beech nuts on a beech tree. Sweet Chestnuts are much bigger almost like a golf ball and lots of thin spikes on that hurt what you try and pick them up. They look like smaller conkers.

 

Fagus sylvatica to be precise! <_<

 

Yes but its still not Castanea sativa although they are in the same plant family. :anitongue:

Edited by Yorkie30
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What you have there are beech nuts on a beech tree. Sweet Chestnuts are much bigger almost like a golf ball and lots of thin spikes on that hurt what you try and pick them up. They look like smaller conkers.

 

Fagus sylvatica to be precise! <_<

 

Yes but its still not Castanea sativa although they are in the same plant family. :anitongue:

 

...meaning the Fagaceae family? :rolleyes:

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What you have there are beech nuts on a beech tree. Sweet Chestnuts are much bigger almost like a golf ball and lots of thin spikes on that hurt what you try and pick them up. They look like smaller conkers.

 

Fagus sylvatica to be precise! <_<

 

Yes but its still not Castanea sativa although they are in the same plant family. :anitongue:

 

...meaning the Fagaceae family? :rolleyes:

 

Don't let Don Fagaceae hear you disrespecting the Family... He might send the boys round to make you an offer you can't refuse!! :lol:

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What you have there are beech nuts on a beech tree. Sweet Chestnuts are much bigger almost like a golf ball and lots of thin spikes on that hurt what you try and pick them up. They look like smaller conkers.

 

Fagus sylvatica to be precise! <_<

 

Yes but its still not Castanea sativa although they are in the same plant family. :anitongue:

 

...meaning the Fagaceae family? :rolleyes:

 

Until the botanists get bored and DNA test it to find it is more closly related to a catcus..... :ph34r:

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So next question.......onto acorns

 

I know they are edible cos I read they are :lol:

 

I only pulled 6 biggish ones offa the tree while walking Jess earlier

 

Do you pull them off or wait till they fall?

 

I took the end "cup" off shelled them and dropped them into a glass of water, I read you put them into water and change it daily until the water stays clear, then all the tannins have gone.

 

So once all the tannins are gone what do you do with them?

 

Can you just eat them raw like a nut?

 

Any info appreciated

 

Thanks

 

M :D

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I took the end "cup" off shelled them and dropped them into a glass of water, I read you put them into water and change it daily until the water stays clear, then all the tannins have gone.

 

 

You did chop them up before you put them into the water, didn't you? If not, you may have to wait a few weeks.......

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I was doing a cache a couple of weekends ago, and found a tree shedding its chestnuts all over the floor. Lovely deep coloured perfect just fallen ones. So I gathered up 4 pocket and a bag full, fully intent on roasting some and scoffing that evening.

On a whim when I got home, and I don't know why, I typed "Are conkers edible" into google, only to find I'd spent 30 minutes collecting the unedible horse chestnuts. Bumker.

 

But at least I didn't poison myself!

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