Wild Food Stories

Wild food & drink specialist; education, events, consultancy & collaboration (Scotland); academic research. Member of the Association of Foragers.

We produce wild food products and run fun wild
Food events in Aberdeenshire

Operating as usual

30/08/2021

🍄 Fly agaric 🍄
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It’s that time of year again when the most beautiful mushrooms of all (in my humble opinion) - fly agarics (Amanita muscaria) begin to appear all over our forests. Steeped in folklore, these psychoactive fungi have long been used it rituals and ceremonies, to promote visions and to aid with community decision making and spiritual practice. They can even be rendered edible with correct preparation as has been practiced for many years in some European countries including in Scandinavia. What’s more, they act as beacons to the location of ceps, given that the two species often grow side by side. They’re so magical, I just can’t help being lifted up when I encounter them 🍄🥰

🍄 Fly agaric 🍄
.
It’s that time of year again when the most beautiful mushrooms of all (in my humble opinion) - fly agarics (Amanita muscaria) begin to appear all over our forests. Steeped in folklore, these psychoactive fungi have long been used it rituals and ceremonies, to promote visions and to aid with community decision making and spiritual practice. They can even be rendered edible with correct preparation as has been practiced for many years in some European countries including in Scandinavia. What’s more, they act as beacons to the location of ceps, given that the two species often grow side by side. They’re so magical, I just can’t help being lifted up when I encounter them 🍄🥰

21/08/2021

Blaeberry gelato
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Here’s what I did with some of those delicious blaeberries. Gelato uses milk instead of the cream that’s found in ice cream so it’s a wee bit lighter but silky and rich in flavour. Love the deep earthy fruit flavour of this gelato. Basic recipe below 👇
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Recipe:
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Make a custard with 3 cups of milk, scant 1 cup of sugar and 5 egg yolks. Chill in fridge overnight.
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Simmer 3 cups of blaeberries with the juice of half a lemon and 1/4 cup of sugar until slightly thickened. Cool overnight.
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Whizz the blaeberry mix in a blender then push through a sieve to make it extra smooth.
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Mix together the custard mix and blaeberry mix then churn in an ice cream maker til soft scoop consistency.
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Set in freezer for a few hours before serving.
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This recipe should work with any soft fruit. Hope you enjoy it - let me know if you try it!

Blaeberry gelato
.
Here’s what I did with some of those delicious blaeberries. Gelato uses milk instead of the cream that’s found in ice cream so it’s a wee bit lighter but silky and rich in flavour. Love the deep earthy fruit flavour of this gelato. Basic recipe below 👇
.
Recipe:
.
Make a custard with 3 cups of milk, scant 1 cup of sugar and 5 egg yolks. Chill in fridge overnight.
.
Simmer 3 cups of blaeberries with the juice of half a lemon and 1/4 cup of sugar until slightly thickened. Cool overnight.
.
Whizz the blaeberry mix in a blender then push through a sieve to make it extra smooth.
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Mix together the custard mix and blaeberry mix then churn in an ice cream maker til soft scoop consistency.
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Set in freezer for a few hours before serving.
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This recipe should work with any soft fruit. Hope you enjoy it - let me know if you try it!

18/08/2021

Cep carpaccio
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Did you know that ceps (Boletus edulis) are one of a few wild mushroom species it is safe to eat raw? (Note - most need to be well cooked before consumption!). This is a seasonal delight - ceps thinly sliced and layered as a carpaccio, seasoned with sea salt and herbs (I used thyme) and drizzled with the best extra virgin olive oil you have to hand. Simple food at its best, a truly wonderful gift from the forest!
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An excellent use of the most pristine ceps in your basket - I reserve the older more spongey ones for dehydrating for use throughout the year (including various jars of cep dust which is a gourmet seasoning in its own right). I have been finding so many pristine ceps though that I am getting together jars of wonderful small sliced dried ceps for the year ahead. It truly is a good year for these ones 🥰

Cep carpaccio
.
Did you know that ceps (Boletus edulis) are one of a few wild mushroom species it is safe to eat raw? (Note - most need to be well cooked before consumption!). This is a seasonal delight - ceps thinly sliced and layered as a carpaccio, seasoned with sea salt and herbs (I used thyme) and drizzled with the best extra virgin olive oil you have to hand. Simple food at its best, a truly wonderful gift from the forest!
.
An excellent use of the most pristine ceps in your basket - I reserve the older more spongey ones for dehydrating for use throughout the year (including various jars of cep dust which is a gourmet seasoning in its own right). I have been finding so many pristine ceps though that I am getting together jars of wonderful small sliced dried ceps for the year ahead. It truly is a good year for these ones 🥰

Photos from Wild Food Stories's post 18/08/2021

It’s cep-tacular out there right now! I’m really enjoying the abundance of one of the finest gourmet wild mushrooms! These are doing so well in spruce in particular right now, and not too badly in pine either.
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How is your mushroom season going?

17/08/2021

Lacto-fermented spiced purple beans
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I love lacrosse-fermenting vegetables, especially when we have a glut of them in the tunnel (or in this case, grown by my husband in a client’s garden, and they’re out of the country for the foreseeable future - perks of having a gardening business!).
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These ones are seasoned with dried lovage, hogweed seeds and chilli. Hopefully it will be a winning combo.
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Lacto-fermenting is a great way of preserving veg to be enjoyed into the less abundant months, not to mention the myriad of health benefits that come from eating fermented foods (note - you can even fling fermented veg into casseroles etc. but heat does destroy the additional health benefits).
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Next up I’m going to ferment some chanterelles (to go along with my beloved oil pickles).

Lacto-fermented spiced purple beans
.
I love lacrosse-fermenting vegetables, especially when we have a glut of them in the tunnel (or in this case, grown by my husband in a client’s garden, and they’re out of the country for the foreseeable future - perks of having a gardening business!).
.
These ones are seasoned with dried lovage, hogweed seeds and chilli. Hopefully it will be a winning combo.
.
Lacto-fermenting is a great way of preserving veg to be enjoyed into the less abundant months, not to mention the myriad of health benefits that come from eating fermented foods (note - you can even fling fermented veg into casseroles etc. but heat does destroy the additional health benefits).
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Next up I’m going to ferment some chanterelles (to go along with my beloved oil pickles).

15/08/2021

Raspberry and rose margarita
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I have a wee recipe reel in mind for this one. It was Mexican night last night (enchiladas) so a margarita was called for, and I’ve been wondering what to do with all the stunning raspberries. This one is made with @cazcabeltequila (blanco), @cointreau, muddled raspberries, rose petal jam and lime juice, with a raspberry, rose and hibiscus salt rim. Recipe up soon 👍

Raspberry and rose margarita
.
I have a wee recipe reel in mind for this one. It was Mexican night last night (enchiladas) so a margarita was called for, and I’ve been wondering what to do with all the stunning raspberries. This one is made with @cazcabeltequila (blanco), @cointreau, muddled raspberries, rose petal jam and lime juice, with a raspberry, rose and hibiscus salt rim. Recipe up soon 👍

13/08/2021

Basketful of joy.
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It’s my favourite time of the year and there is so much abundance to be found out there. I can’t keep away from the forests. Except plenty of mushroom themed posts from me in the next few weeks!
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#wildfood #wildfoodlove #mushrooms #mushroomhunting #mushroomlovers #mushroomforaging #mushroomforager #fungilove #cogumelos #steinpilze #vilde #fungifanatic #fantasticfungi

Basketful of joy.
.
It’s my favourite time of the year and there is so much abundance to be found out there. I can’t keep away from the forests. Except plenty of mushroom themed posts from me in the next few weeks!
.
#wildfood #wildfoodlove #mushrooms #mushroomhunting #mushroomlovers #mushroomforaging #mushroomforager #fungilove #cogumelos #steinpilze #vilde #fungifanatic #fantasticfungi

Photos from Wild Food Stories's post 12/08/2021

NEW COURSE DATES
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The final round of foraging courses for 2021 are now available to book on my website (link in profile). Demand on these is likely to be quite high so get in there quickly if you want to avoid disappointment!
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#outdoorlearning #foragingcourses #wildfood #wildfoodlove #forager #foraging #adultlearning #newskills #selfsufficiency #naturelover #thegreatoutdoors #eatweeds #hedgerow #harvest

12/08/2021

Courgette and pumpkin flowers stuffed with a chanterelle and mascarpone cream
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Been planning this one for ages and finally got to it. Absolutely delicious! I did of course intend to use ricotta but our small rural Coop had other ideas. I’ll definitely be making this again.
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Let me know below if you’d like to see a recipe for this one 😄
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#wildfood #wildfoodlove #homegrown #growyourown #wildcrafted #wildmushrooms #folkcreative #courgetteflowers #localfood #rusticfood #simplefood #homecook

Courgette and pumpkin flowers stuffed with a chanterelle and mascarpone cream
.
Been planning this one for ages and finally got to it. Absolutely delicious! I did of course intend to use ricotta but our small rural Coop had other ideas. I’ll definitely be making this again.
.
Let me know below if you’d like to see a recipe for this one 😄
.
#wildfood #wildfoodlove #homegrown #growyourown #wildcrafted #wildmushrooms #folkcreative #courgetteflowers #localfood #rusticfood #simplefood #homecook

10/08/2021

I have never been more rich than in this moment, right now.
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As a younger person I always pushed back thoughts of financial success to “when I’m older” - I think this is a common theme? But as I’ve got older, and increasingly embraced the wealth of the land, I have increasingly learnt what it means to be “rich”.
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Rich in knowledge and the fruits of the earth; access to wilderness; friends, family and experience; and the wealth that comes from knowing not only when you have enough, but when you are privileged to have more than enough of these things.
.
Tonight I felt rich in all of these things, and I quietly celebrated their huge value 💚🌿🌎

I have never been more rich than in this moment, right now.
.
As a younger person I always pushed back thoughts of financial success to “when I’m older” - I think this is a common theme? But as I’ve got older, and increasingly embraced the wealth of the land, I have increasingly learnt what it means to be “rich”.
.
Rich in knowledge and the fruits of the earth; access to wilderness; friends, family and experience; and the wealth that comes from knowing not only when you have enough, but when you are privileged to have more than enough of these things.
.
Tonight I felt rich in all of these things, and I quietly celebrated their huge value 💚🌿🌎

09/08/2021

Well at some point in the last few weeks I made it to 10K! It feels like a bit of a milestone in Insta terms so I decided to mark the occasion with this scarletina mushroom!
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If you’re a bit new to my account you’ll be wondering what you’re in for. I’m a wild food specialist who runs events and workshops, does consultancy and writing and even research on wild food. My posts are a fair mix of foraging in the wilderness alongside working with wild (and other local/cultivated) foods in the kitchen. It’s probably this foodie/creative side that I focus on the most. At this time of year mushrooms are a bit of an obsession so expect to see a lot of those, as well as a wild cocktail thrown into the mix regularly too 🍸🍄
.
Thank you to everyone who is following my adventures. Your support and engagement means everything to me - and it helps me build my wee business too which is no small thing. I feel like, despite the ups and downs of Instagram and other social media, this really is a wonderful, sharing, creative community that I’m so happy to be a part of 🥰
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Teensy request - if you saw this and read this far I’d love a comment or a like. I along with some of my peers are experiencing a huge drop in engagement (like 1/5th of the usual), presumably due to a recent algorithm update… no biggie and I’m sure it’s temporary but it would be great to have these posts being seen a bit more widely once again 🙏

Well at some point in the last few weeks I made it to 10K! It feels like a bit of a milestone in Insta terms so I decided to mark the occasion with this scarletina mushroom!
.
If you’re a bit new to my account you’ll be wondering what you’re in for. I’m a wild food specialist who runs events and workshops, does consultancy and writing and even research on wild food. My posts are a fair mix of foraging in the wilderness alongside working with wild (and other local/cultivated) foods in the kitchen. It’s probably this foodie/creative side that I focus on the most. At this time of year mushrooms are a bit of an obsession so expect to see a lot of those, as well as a wild cocktail thrown into the mix regularly too 🍸🍄
.
Thank you to everyone who is following my adventures. Your support and engagement means everything to me - and it helps me build my wee business too which is no small thing. I feel like, despite the ups and downs of Instagram and other social media, this really is a wonderful, sharing, creative community that I’m so happy to be a part of 🥰
.
Teensy request - if you saw this and read this far I’d love a comment or a like. I along with some of my peers are experiencing a huge drop in engagement (like 1/5th of the usual), presumably due to a recent algorithm update… no biggie and I’m sure it’s temporary but it would be great to have these posts being seen a bit more widely once again 🙏

Photos from Wild Food Stories's post 08/08/2021

Portuguese botanicals
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For a project now that I’m back home - botanicals collected from the wilds and garden in Portugal. Wild carrot, lavender, wild fennel; fig leaves and lemon verbena. Most were already dried due to time of year. Looking forward to sharing this project with you ☺️

06/08/2021

Loved being part of this film celebrating Darnleys Original hero botanical- elderflower!
Posted @withregram • @darnleysgin The fresh, floral notes of our Original Gin stem from the elderflower at the heart of our recipe. On our mission to make our production evermore sustainable, this summer we set out to harvest our elderflower from the abundance of plants growing locally around our distillery.

Join our founder William Wemyss, Darnley’s forager Leanne Townsend, and our distiller Scott Gowans as they forage for local elderflower to be used for future distillations of Darnley’s Original Gin.

Click the link in our bio to watch the full film 🤍

03/08/2021

Orangeade with Portuguese botanicals
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A close up of the finished drink I shared a couple of posts ago… orangeade made the traditional way (with lemon juice added for extra zest) and infused with lemon verbena and wisteria flowers for a few hours, then strained over ice and garnished with more of those lovely botanicals. Never played with orangeade like this before - herby floral orangeade is a delight, who knew!

Orangeade with Portuguese botanicals
.
A close up of the finished drink I shared a couple of posts ago… orangeade made the traditional way (with lemon juice added for extra zest) and infused with lemon verbena and wisteria flowers for a few hours, then strained over ice and garnished with more of those lovely botanicals. Never played with orangeade like this before - herby floral orangeade is a delight, who knew!

02/08/2021

Orangeade infused with lemon verbena and wisteria
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Gorgeous botanicals to be found in the garden here in Sendim 💚🌿 I made a simple orangeade and added some citrus slices, lemon verbena and wisteria and left it to infuse whilst we went off for a swim in the Rio Douro. Came back to a deliciously floral, herbal, citrus orangeade served over ice. For a forager, travelling is all about playing with plants that you can’t access in your home habitats 🥰 Just lovely 🍊 🌺 🍃

Orangeade infused with lemon verbena and wisteria
.
Gorgeous botanicals to be found in the garden here in Sendim 💚🌿 I made a simple orangeade and added some citrus slices, lemon verbena and wisteria and left it to infuse whilst we went off for a swim in the Rio Douro. Came back to a deliciously floral, herbal, citrus orangeade served over ice. For a forager, travelling is all about playing with plants that you can’t access in your home habitats 🥰 Just lovely 🍊 🌺 🍃

01/08/2021

Caldo verde - literally “green soup” is a national dish of Portugal and the nation’s favourite comfort food. I was so happy to sit down to this on my first night back in Portugal. Made by my Portuguese step mum (the kids’ avo or “vovo”) with onions, potatoes, lashings of olive oil and collard greens shredded super finely and cooked in the smooth potato soup. Optionally laced with cooked chourico (chorizo) it’s a wonderful thing. Potatoes, onions and greens grown right here in the garden. Olive oil from the family’s own olive trees. Chourico made from pigs raised right there on the farm. Not sure I ever eat less food miles than I do when I’m right here. I do sometimes make this but have never made it with wild greens. Thinking how good it would be with some of those horseradish leaves back at home 💚

Caldo verde - literally “green soup” is a national dish of Portugal and the nation’s favourite comfort food. I was so happy to sit down to this on my first night back in Portugal. Made by my Portuguese step mum (the kids’ avo or “vovo”) with onions, potatoes, lashings of olive oil and collard greens shredded super finely and cooked in the smooth potato soup. Optionally laced with cooked chourico (chorizo) it’s a wonderful thing. Potatoes, onions and greens grown right here in the garden. Olive oil from the family’s own olive trees. Chourico made from pigs raised right there on the farm. Not sure I ever eat less food miles than I do when I’m right here. I do sometimes make this but have never made it with wild greens. Thinking how good it would be with some of those horseradish leaves back at home 💚

Our story

We produce wild food products and run foraging courses and wild food events in Aberdeenshire. Watch this space!

Videos (show all)

Seeing as a few new folks are following my account, I thought it might be good to create a wee video introducing myself ...
Here is the first IGTV for my new series on wild cocktails! It's my Wild Cherry Bakewell, capturing the taste of this Br...
The Press and Journal have asked me to create a video that covers what's good to forage in May. I have focused on abunda...
So here's the recipe for the gorse custard ice cream. Every year I make gorse ice cream but fancied changing it up a bit...
I thought it might be helpful to provide a bit more content "out in the field" as so far we've focused considerably on r...
As promised, here is the video recipe showing you how simple it is to make sorbet with Flowering Currant. This recipe wo...

Location

Category

General Manager

Leanne Townsend

Address


Cairnballoch Farmhouse
Alford
AB33 8HQ
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