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justthisbloke

Seashore Foraging - Cockles

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There's an R in the month so I'm looking towards the shoreline in search of food. This is not somewhere I've taken from before and would like advice.

cockles_16x9.jpg

There are loads of cockles under the sand at low tide - I've dug 'em up over the summer to inspect, and I've seen chaps digging them in the past.

So - any advice?

I'm planning on digging up a bucket full of biggish ones; letting them self-cleanse and de-grit in clean water; then cooking them iaw any of the multitude of recipes on the internet.

Looking at the fisheries website there doesn't seem to be any seasonal or pollution ban in force so I reckon there's no reason not to.

Am on the Solent shore if anyone's got any other ideas for what's edible round here.

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Filter them in sea water first and then fresh water. Do not collect after rainfall days and do not collect for several days after heavy rainfall.

Make sure there is no sewage or chemical outfalls near where you wish to collect or tides that could bring such toxins. Use local knowledge of tides and water quality. Is it a blue flag beach?

Discard any that open before you begin cooking. Any that do not open upon cooking simply need longer cooking time.

What else can you eat? Lots. Razor fish. Mussels naturally. Too much to list really.

Have you eaten locally commercially prepared cockles? Try them first to see if it is worth the hassle.

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Let them clean themselves in seawater, add some flour to the water to get them to feed.

Any shells that don't open when cooking are likely to be either i) very dead or ii) just full of mud - so chuck them

I haven't eaten anything but harvested seafood for 3 months now. Had a squid tonight that fed 2 people. If you live by the coast it is very easy.

Just never kill more than you need at the time.

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Nothing to add to what's been said but wanted to mention that it's also wild mushroom time, particularly porcini...

iw6dmt.jpg

I scored a large haul a few days ago, have been sneaking them into most meals and they're yum

Kill more than you need at the time, dry their bodies.

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Nothing to add to what's been said but wanted to mention that it's also wild mushroom time, particularly porcini...

iw6dmt.jpg

I scored a large haul a few days ago, have been sneaking them into most meals and they're yum

Kill more than you need at the time, dry their bodies.

You seemed to have accidentally deleted a line.

Corrected for you:

I scored a large haul a few days ago, have been sneaking them into most meals and they're yum

Be really sneaky and put poisonous ones in the meals of unwanted relatives and work colleagues.

Kill more than you need at the time, dry their bodies.

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Apparently the rivers in Surrey are crawling with American crayfish. You need to let the environment agency know and use approved traps (to protect other wildlife), but you can take as many as you can catch. I've just started to look into doing it. Crayfish are delicious.

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Apparently the rivers in Surrey are crawling with American crayfish. You need to let the environment agency know and use approved traps (to protect other wildlife), but you can take as many as you can catch. I've just started to look into doing it. Crayfish are delicious.

You can spot them because they are wearing the yellow checked golfing trousers.

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Anyone got any tips on the best places to look for mushrooms generally? Or more specifically in Lancashire?

I can't remember who it was who died last year - the husband or the wife. Two doctors who went mushroom picking and ate the ones they picked.

Nuggets might be an experienced mushroom picker but, seriously folks, mushroom picking is Russian roulette if you are a novice.

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Anyone got any tips on the best places to look for mushrooms generally? Or more specifically in Lancashire?

I can't help with specifics. A couple of pointers though

Even though I have decent working knowledge, I stick to picking a handful of easily recognized types that are worth eating - porcini, 'hedgehogs', chanterelles, puffballs. Porcini are the main event afaic.

Location-wise, what you're after is mature, undisturbed woodland, preferably deciduous, with lots of leaf mould and growth at ground level. Parks and heavily managed woods aren't up to snuff in my experience. Army training grounds with public access and private estates crossed by bridle paths have potential. Down South the woods around Aldershot, the New Forest, spots like that are good.

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Puffballs are the only mushrooms I'll risk. Nothing to confuse them with. Dying of kidney failure does not appeal.

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I can't remember who it was who died last year - the husband or the wife. Two doctors who went mushroom picking and ate the ones they picked.

Nuggets might be an experienced mushroom picker but, seriously folks, mushroom picking is Russian roulette if you are a novice.

Of course it's going to be optimal to be shown the ropes by someone who knows their stuff. If there's an Italian available grab hold of them. If they don't know the ropes they'll know someone who does.

Btw the mushroom I posted a picture of is the best of the lot and looks like nothing that'd do you in.

The River Cottage handbook is a good introduction which covers safety. Worth reading if anyone thinks they might be interested and deciding if they want to carry on from there.

Having said all that, yes, I've encountered a few nobbers picking marginal shrooms over the years. None of them were carrying a field guide which, if you're a novice, is plain f***ing stupid.

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Basically if it looks like a pixie might live in it, avoid.

Always used to pick mushrooms where I used to live they were obviously the same as regular ones never went for anything fancy looking or indeed were there any around in any numbers. Under hedgerows near piles of sheep shit was always rich pickings.

You lot are quite bad for this kind of stuff. I get sick of people bringing me rhubarb, runner beans, courgettes and other assorted garden output they've grown but don't really want so feel a bit lucky I'm not near the coast and they're bringing all sorts of crustaceans, to clog up my bin, as well.

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I imagine the Solent is much like Morecambe Bay. Assuming so, make sure you know the tide times.

And you are not Chinese! :blink:

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Of course it's going to be optimal to be shown the ropes by someone who knows their stuff. If there's an Italian available grab hold of them. If they don't know the ropes they'll know someone who does.

Btw the mushroom I posted a picture of is the best of the lot and looks like nothing that'd do you in.

The River Cottage handbook is a good introduction which covers safety. Worth reading if anyone thinks they might be interested and deciding if they want to carry on from there.

Having said all that, yes, I've encountered a few nobbers picking marginal shrooms over the years. None of them were carrying a field guide which, if you're a novice, is plain f***ing stupid.

I have that book, it covers the basics and is easy to follow although I have never actually gone out mushroom picking, well apart for magic mushrooms which were a right of passage for valley youths.

If you interested in wild mushroom picking I would check out your local forestry commission websites as they often have organised wild mushroom picking events during the autumn months.

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You seemed to have accidentally deleted a line.

Corrected for you:

Thank you, most accurate.

I've just spent a few minutes perusing the handful of reported fatal and near fatal cases of mushroom poisoning in the UK and there are a few themes shared by the Darwin Award candidates involved. For the true Russian Roulette experience...

1. Pick wild mushrooms at random

2. Never check your randomly selected mushrooms to any kind of guide to edible/ poisonous mushrooms

3. Always share any delicious meal you prepare containing your harvest of random, unidentified mushrooms with your husband, wife and other loved-ones

e.g.

Evans picked the mushrooms during a walk through woodland on the 13,000-acre Scottish estate belonging to his brother-in-law, Sir Alastair Gordon-Cumming, and his wife Lady Louisa. He sautéed them with butter and parsley and served them to the family, fatefully neglecting to leaf through a book in the kitchen which identified mushrooms. He has described it as an “absolutely stupid” mistake.

e.g.2

Christina Hale, 57, found the death cap mushrooms, Amanita phalloides, while foraging under a tree in her garden in Bridgwater, Somerset, and assumed they were edible.
She added them to a can of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup which she ate for dinner, along with her husband, Jocelyn Lynch.

So, contrary to the old saying, there is a cure for stupidity after all.

I've yet to find any cases of people doing themselves in after checking their haul with something as old-fashioned and superfluous as a book, but where's the fun in going about things like that?

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Thank you, most accurate.

I've just spent a few minutes perusing the handful of reported fatal and near fatal cases of mushroom poisoning in the UK and there are a few themes shared by the Darwin Award candidates involved. For the true Russian Roulette experience...

1. Pick wild mushrooms at random

2. Never check your randomly selected mushrooms to any kind of guide to edible/ poisonous mushrooms

3. Always share any delicious meal you prepare containing your harvest of random, unidentified mushrooms with your husband, wife and other loved-ones

e.g.

e.g.2

So, contrary to the old saying, there is a cure for stupidity after all.

I've yet to find any cases of people doing themselves in after checking their haul with something as old-fashioned and superfluous as a book, but where's the fun in going about things like that?

Mushrooms all look the same to me! That's why I do my "foraging" in Tesco! :unsure:

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Mushrooms all look the same to me! That's why I do my "foraging" in Tesco! :unsure:

It's one of the small ways I compensate for not owning a motorbike.

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It's one of the small ways I compensate for not owning a motorbike.

Are toadstools "safe" if you pick them from a motorbike? :blink:

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Yes, I used to go cockling with my parents when I was a child, don`t know if there are cockle beds off snettisham beach still? (Norfolk)

Apparently Hunstanton is something of a mecca for motorcycles, I`m thinking of going next year by bike, I`m thinking of buying a Suzuki GSR 750 (not Yamaha)

Do I get some kind award for changing from shellfish to motorbikes? Well I thought not......

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