The Trials and Tribulations of a Savvy Shopper

Published / Written by Judith Portman / No Comments Yet

I think you’ve probably come to realise by now that my life is a series of experiences, (probably more of a hazardous and laughable nature than anything else to be truthful,) but that’s what makes me no different to anyone else. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about that. If you get a laugh from something I have to say then at least I’ve brightened someone’s day! 

I love it now the nights are getting lighter and the weather at last seems to be warming up, so much so that last Monday I decided to venture for a walk with my daughter and son-in-law. We decided to go not too far from where we live to see if we could find any fruits worth foraging. I’m lucky enough to live close to an area of outstanding natural beauty and it only took five minutes’ walk until we were in the peacefulness of Cannock Chase.

Not enough of us practice the art of foraging anymore; food’s too easy to get hold of at any time of year in the local supermarket and yet why would we ignore what’s free and nature is happy to share with us? I for one remember many times when we were kids and would go blackberry picking. We would go home with purple-stained fingers and legs scratched to ribbons, but with full tummies, which were likely to end up in tummy ache the following day. But that was a highlight as autumn started; apple and blackberry home-made pies. It’s not quite the same thing when it’s been made in bulk at the supermarket is it?

Foraging for Mushrooms

Anyway, I digress, (although blackberries will be on my free list when the time comes.) We thought we would try and find some wild mushrooms in the woods. My daughter was also hoping we would spot some of the red deer that run loose on the Chase. I made my son-in-law go first along a narrow track through the trees which had obviously been frequented by kids on bikes, just in case there were any surprises in store. (Knowing my luck, I would encounter a biker gang or something like it.)

My daughter was in the middle and I was bringing up the rear, eyes peeled and scanning the surroundings for errant fungi. I should have known things were going too smoothly when Laura stopped dead in front of me and I promptly walked into the back of her legs. “Shh!” she admonished. “There’s some deer!” But I couldn’t see a thing and so tried to see over her shoulder. As I stretched my neck around, my foot slid and I skidded down to land on my bottom in a pile of something unmentionable!

I picked myself up and tried as best as I could to get cleaned up, being “Shushed” all the while by Laura. The bonus was that where I landed there were also some mushrooms! I’m having some of these, I thought to myself, hastily plucking them with already mucky hands. Checking quickly in my book to make sure they weren’t poisonous, all kinds of nice recipes were floating into my mind. I may have missed seeing the deer, but I had found myself the pick of the day!