Your guide to guide to cooking in the time of Coronavirus

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There’s plenty to eat in the garden, especially if you grow vegetables.

Try seasonal plants: at the moment, daffodils are in bloom, but remember they shouldn’t be eaten raw. Or cooked. Crocus stigmas are dried to make saffron, but picking enough to make a pie would take several weeks. Cows eat grass, but you shouldn’t: you can’t digest it, the neighbour’s dog crapped on it, and you don’t have 4 stomachs

Hedgehogs should be coming out of hibernation very soon, so look out for their cute little noses, pretty smiles & needle-sharp spines. Fortunately, they’re rather slow just now, and easy to catch. Best baked in clay to remove the spines; their innards are a delicacy in Moldova

Later in the year, daisies and dandelions are in bloom. The leaves can be used in salads, but would you really eat something next door’s cat has peed on?

There are numerous wild herbs to be found in summer. Look out for wild garlic, borage and purslane. Nettle leaves can be surprisingly pleasant, but if you don’t cook it enough it can be surprisingly unpleasant. Also look out for hemlock, bindweed & foxglove – best avoided, though they are famous for solving depression.

In the autumn, there are the extra rewards offered by berries. Remember those pretty little purple & yellow flowers you saw in summer ? Well, nightshade really shouldn’t be confused with redcurrants, but if you’re feeling lucky give it a go.

Oh, and there are the funghi. The rule is that red ones are poisonous, though they can be white. And the white ones aren’t poisonous, unless they’re red ones in disguise, or brown, or green. Or indeed, just poisonous. As a hint, if it’s called “Destroying Angel”, “Skullcap” or “Death Cap”, it’s possible they might be harmful.

To help with post-ingestion identification of mushrooms, if you experience any or all of the following, you might find you’ve made the wrong choice: nausea, stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhoea, headache, dizziness, flushing, heart palpitations, liver pains, seizures, hallucinations, problems breathing, kidney/liver failure, coma, death. Note that there are no antidotes, and you have just 14 days to enjoy the rest of your self-isolation.

Sinnick – h/t Paul L, kga6 & Titus

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Posted: Mar 17th, 2020 by

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