This is a great time of year for making the most of the free food provided by nature. The chestnuts are ripe now and the footpaths around here are covered in them. Mushrooms of many different types can be found, although it is always best to check to see if they are edible before cooking. Either buy a guide or check with your local pharmacy to ensure you don’t end up with a very bad stomach ache, or maybe worse. The variety of mushrooms to be found here is extraordinary.

Last weekend we took the children up to a secret beach to go “palourde” or clam fishing in the sand on the beach while the tide is out. You need little rakes to move the sand, and then you can feel if you have something hard underneath the sand. Then you dig. The best place to look is on the little rivulets going down to the sea. Where there is one big clam, there are often at least 5 others. The technique needs a little practice, but the clams were delicious, cooked in a little butter, shallots, garlic and parsley. And it is great fun for the kids!

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Making the most of the free food provided by nature