November, the last gasp of autumn. Our dear little woods are still clinging to the last remnants of greenery as they invite us in.
There is still life to be found, down amongst the leaf litter. Most notably the jelly ear fungus, Auricularia auricula-judae. It is often found on dead elder trees and their fallen branches. It is sometimes called Judas’ Ear, due to the belief that Judas hanged himself on an elder tree, after betraying Jesus. Perhaps this is why folklore medicine used it to treat sore throats! This unappetising looking fungi is apparently edible, though used mainly for texture not taste, and it needs to be cooked. The Nepalese have three grades for mushrooms and this one is considered the worst. For those of you intrepid enough to try them, I have rustled up a recipe here.
There are a lot of other varieties of fungi…
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