This autumn has been the best for many years and I have been careful to gather the species I know and love to eat. The fields around St Albans were full of field mushrooms this year in late August and September, I have gathered many, and still have some of the smaller ones in the freezer – they do defrost well and will go into a stir fry or stew. In the same fields we have been lucky to have a number of giant and other smaller puffballs, surprisingly they are slightly harder to spot as they seem to like to appear under the hedges.
My sons school has given me official forager status (with no liability on their part) and they have a great collection of fungi appearing. The most tasty has been the parasol which appeared in great abundance.
Out in the woods in mid August I spotted some oyster mushrooms high in a tree. I eat some fried in butter with garlic but the rest were riddled with maggots which proved very entertaining..
Just a note of caution- please check and double check any fungi you are going to eat, it is very easy to make a mistake and this can be fatal. I use at least two books and stick to a very limited group of edibles but even then check all the characteristics.
The book I find the most useful is: Mushrooms: River Cottage Handbook No.1