River Cottage - September 2008




The Great Mushroom Hunt 2008

After the overwhelming success of last year's Great Mushroom Hunt we thought we would celebrate by doing the whole thing again.

Despite last year being a relatively poor year for mushrooms, we received some marvellous photographs and it was a joy to look at them all, though not easy to judge. Last years winner (pictured left) was Nick Cantle with his picture of a group of young Winter Chanterelle. It was nicely composed, balanced, in focus and (very important this) - edible! We hope Nick might enter the competition this year and please, all of last years entrants, feel free to enter this year.

With the appalling summer and autumn an unknown quantity, who knows what this year will bring? I was collecting Chanterelle several weeks ago and, as I hear it is a first class year for Truffles, I'm off to my favourite Truffle spot this afternoon. I'll let you know if I find any.

Your photographs can be of any fungus, not just the edible ones; and the winner will simply be the photo I like best. The prize is a Friday afternoon forage with me at or near RCHQ followed by dinner at our regular Friday Night at RC. There will be two runner-up prizes of a signed, framed photograph from the RC Mushroom Handbook.

Email your pictures complete, if you like, with the story behind them.

The very best of luck and happy hunting to all,

John Wright

Fun(gi) Events!

If you fancy joining John on a day out foraging around River Cottage HQ, there are tickets available for this October. Go to Mushroom Foraging to find out more.

John will also be hosting one of our regular Friday Night slots on 31st October. The menu designed by Gill will be littered with mushrooms and fungi hiding in your delicious set menu. The evening will begin with a short talk from John with lots of mushrooming tips.

Perfect Preserve Competition

Wow! There are some real knock-out recipes you've sent in for the Perfect Preserve competition and I can see that Liz and I will be in a real dilemma in choosing our favourite 30. There are some real stunners and many precious heirlooms amongst them and we think they're all winners. We love the recipes that use up the garden and orchard gluts, and then of course we love anything we can make from the hedgerow, but then of course there are the boozy recipes too...! Go to our events blog to find some of our favourites. Bear with us for a day or two whilst we select the triumphant 30. From then on the proof of the pudding will be in the eating and we can't wait to try your pots of sunshine. Good luck and thank you all for taking part in our very first preserves competition.

Best of luck, Pam



Bespoke Events

River Cottage has teamed up with a local shoot to teach you how to shoot, pluck, draw and cook pheasant. Available during the game season from October to January, you will spend the morning out shooting and then return to River Cottage HQ, accompanied by our expert butcher Ray Smith, for a hands-on afternoon of both feather and fur game. Click here for more information.

If you're not coming to the next River Cottage Festival on the 6th & 7th of September in body, why not get involved online - we'll be bringing you the action online from 1pm on the 6th of September. You can join in too, discuss the event on our blog - make sure to log onto festival.rivercottage.net.

Last Minute Tickets

Follow in the very recent footsteps of Rick Stein and his team who joined Ray for A Day of Meat Curing & Smoking.. The next available day is Tuesday 30th September. (For more Rick and Ray, go to our first RCHQ Kitchen Blog.

The last of the Catch and Cook and Fish Skills courses run this month. Introduction to Fish Skills & Cookery Tuesday 23rd September and Catch & Cook on Wednesday 24th September.

Daniel Stevens (author of our 3rd Handbook Bread) will be teaching Bread Making on Monday 29th September. After spending the morning at an artisan bakery, Daniel will teach you for the afternoon as you learn to knead and prove that perfect loaf.



River Cottage Shop
River Cottage 2009

River Cottage has become synonymous with a life revolving around good food, either grown in a sustainable way at home or sourced responsibly with a proper understanding of the people and land that produce it.

The theme for this year is the team at River Cottage HQ, and the twelve months will be based on twelve different seasonal activities that go on there. We start the year building a bread oven with Daniel Stevens, author of Bread and end it with Hugh's famous multi-bird roast for Christmas.

In between there is bee-keeping, fishing and herb-foraging in the Devonshire countryside, among other fun activities. River Cottage 2009, has the usual full year diary and will have a cased-in spiral-bound package. As always, it will be printed on 100% recycled paper and card, with 36 monthly recipe cards on perforated pages, full-colour photographs, seasonal tables, conversion charts, shooting seasons and directory of useful websites.

Click here for more information and to order yours.

Game On DVD

One of the real treats on the River Cottage menu is the fantastic range of wild meat available all year round. And we believe there's no better way to enjoy this fantastic resource than to hunt it, butcher it and cook it yourself.

Our latest DVD, put together by the River Cottage team, is a romp through Britain's wild meat menu. Join Hugh, and game expert Nick Fisher as they head off into the woods and fields in search of the best game and edible vermin, from the humble woodpigeon to the elusive roe deer. Head back to HQ, where Ray takes you through all you need to know about plucking, skinning, gutting and butchering your own wild meat. And then tuck in to a feast of new and classic game recipes from Gill and the team in the

Enjoy 68 minutes of brand new footage together with the best game moments from the River Cottage television series.

Click here to pre-order your copy

The ever popular Meat book is now available in paperback!

This title aims to help you find good meat, understand it better, cook it with more confidence, and eat it with much pleasure. It first covers the basics - everything you'll need to know about choosing the best raw materials, understanding the different cuts and the cooking techniques associated with each of them.

Winner of two 2008 James Beard Awards, the highly acclaimed Best Cookbook of the Year and the Best Single Subject book.

Click here to order yours and see more information on the Meat book.



Membership update: Special Offers For Members Only
River Cottage Honey

We are pleased to announce that we have a limited amount of Park Farm honey available exclusively for our Members to buy. This honey has been collected throughout the summer from our three bee hives and we promise you it's delicious! Click here to find out more. This will be on a first come first served basis.

Want to help with the TV show?

We have 20 places, again exclusive to members only, to attend our small River Cottage Bonfire party - this is a free, invitation only event - it is not open to the public. This event, with Hugh, will be filmed and feature in this Autumn's series. To give everyone a fair chance of coming, we've set up a competition. To answer our question and find out more click here to enter. The winner will be drawn randomly from the correct entries.
Terms and conditions apply

and finally,

a reminder as a member you have access to the Mushroom online course.

For more details about all membership benefits, including further discounts and exclusive offers, click here.



Axminster Local Food Store & Canteen

Meat boxes

From 7 September we are launching a range of organic meat boxes, prepared to order and ready for collection from the Store.
- 8kg Organic Saddleback box - £95
- 8kg Organic Poll Dorset lamb (autumn) or Lleyn (spring) box - £105
- 8kg Pedigree Aberdeen Angus box - £110
All cuts are clearly labelled and suitable for home freezing. Call 01297 631715 to order - please allow one week lead in time.

Autumn Veg Night 25 September

For a special one-off Hugh will be hosting an Autumn Veg Night at the Canteen where we will be celebrating all things veg-related with a special vegetarian feast. Tickets are priced £35 and can be purchased in-store or by calling 01297 631715. Please note: this event will be filmed for the new River Cottage series.



Team Blogs

Check in here for the latest news from our team including Tim Maddams, head chef at the Axminster Canteen, with his 'Summer is not over in the kitchen' blog. Plus our first River Cottage Kitchens blog from Park Farm featuring Rick Stein and his team on A Day of Meat Curing & Smoking



River Cottage in the News

Our 6 month series with Country Living magazine comes to a close this month with the focus on wild food and an interview with our expert forager John Wright.




This month our friends at www.freerangereview.com have another fantastic prize for you.

All you have to do for a chance to win a fantastic Organic Chocolate Hamper from Cocoa Loco, is visit Free Range Review, become a reviewer (if you're not already), and leave a review for a foodie business you know - you can add a business you like as well as discover hundreds of foodie places, added, rated and reviewed by your local community.





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