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Sunday, October 26, 2008
The cabbage fields of wildest Wakefield
Friday was forecast to be the best day, so leg 3 took me to Woolley Edge. Last week's walk was so wonderful that it spoiled me for this one. Nevertheless, there were some great views, this time to the north, and the relatively flat area of West Yorkshire. Much of the walk was on tarmac - true, mostly quiet country lanes, but the 7 miles seemed shorter than last week's 5. The route zigzagged across agricultural land with just a few bits of woodland on the way. One of the most dramatic sights was a large field of cabbages, before the route descended into the attractive Applehaigh Clough. Once again my route was punctuated (!) by a none too camera shy comma butterfly. This autumn seems to be all or nothing in the woodland fruits department - sloes and hazelnuts are a no show, whereas there are huge quantities of many others - rowan, rosehip, acorns, elderberries, and some fine swags of black bryony. Some fine looking fungi (clitocybe nebularis) but nothing for the pot. The pheasant from last week exceeded my expectations. I hung it in the shed for 6 days, then skinned and drew it. I did a variation of a Nigel Slater recipe, and roasted it in a hot oven, rubbed with thyme and juniper butter and wrapped in streaky bacon. Not only was it delicious, the meat was tender and tasty, but there was much more than I had anticipated - a generous amount for the two of us.