Everyone loves free food. We have over the years planted our garden to give us an extra source of free food with the fruit trees and dabbling with growing vegetables. This autumn however our garden has given us a surprise crop, a bumper crop of parasol mushrooms.
Now of course you need to be very sure about identifying wild growing mushrooms before picking and eating them but these are unmistakably delicious parasol mushrooms. Keys to identifying this species of mushroom are the brown and cream stripy stem with its moveable white collar, the white gills, brown crown and the flecks on the cap. The spores are white and when cut the flesh stays white.
There are similar species the shaggy parasol for instance that can cause slight stomach upsets in some people but they lack some of the distinguishing features of the parasol. Of course if in doubt leave well alone.