Prunelles, gratte-culs et champignons…

…  which are, being translated, sloes, rosehips and mushrooms.  But it sounds rather more poetic in French, non?  Even if you take into account that ‘gratte-cul‘ translates as ‘scratch-bum‘, because as every naughty school child knows, rosehips seeds are distressingly itchy when shoved down against the skin.

Chapelle Saint Roch
Chapelle Saint Roch

Anyway, I went off by myself for a walk the other day, starting by the ancient and slightly isolated Chapelle Saint Roch.  There’s still a pilgrimage there every year, because he’s the patron saint of plague victims, and well, you never know, do you?

I’d got several ‘au cas ‘ bags, ‘just in case’ I found sloes, rosehips and mushrooms.  It wasn’t ‘just in case’ really though.  I know exactly where to look for the juiciest sloes, the thorniest rosehips, and even a decent clutch of field mushrooms.  Finding mushrooms before the French get to them counts as a real achievement for me.

It pays to have tough clothes when you hunt among the scratchy brambles for the sloes and hips nearby
It pays to have tough clothes when you hunt among the scratchy brambles for the sloes and hips nearby

Here are my sloes, destined not for sloe gin this year: we seem to have such a lot left from the last few years.  No, this year I’m making  a richly flavoured jelly with the fruit I picked that morning and a few windfalls.

Sloes waiting to be picked
Sloes waiting to be picked

And here are the rosehips.  It’s a syrup for those, I think.

Rosehips with thorns ready for the attack
Rosehips with thorns ready for the attack

But the mushrooms……  Someone got there before me.  And it wasn’t a Frenchman .  Grrr.

I didn't know slugs ate mushrooms
I didn’t know slugs ate mushrooms

10 thoughts on “Prunelles, gratte-culs et champignons…”

  1. “Champignon” is one of my favorite French words. It reminds me of a book called Le Petit Nicholas I read when I first started learning French. It was the adventures of a little boy and in one chapter, he called another boy “un champignon!” I always thought it was a very creative sort of insult 🙂

    A more embarrassing moment of the word was from my second level French class in which I had to translate the sentence, ‘J’ai trouve un champignon dans le bois.” (Sorry, I can’t do accent marks easily on this keyboard.) I translated it as, “I found a mushroom in my drink!” I had thought it must be some strange kind of adult beverage that would have a mushroom in it. It wasn’t until the teacher stopped laughing and corrected my translation that I realized the silliness of my error 🙂


  2. Slugs love mushrooms. They are the major competition in UK. Our mushroom season seems to be coming to an end now but we have done well this year. I like the idea of sloe jelly.


    1. England seems to have had a great year mushroom-wise. As ever, I haven’t, though I did get a bag of shaggy ink caps the other week. Yes, sloe jelly is to be recommended


  3. ” Le petit prince était vraiment très irrité. Il secouait au vent des cheveux tout dorés:

    – Je connais une planète où il y a un Monsieur cramoisi. Il n’a jamais respiré une fleur. Il n’a jamais regardé une étoile. Il n’a jamais aimé personne. Il n’a jamais rien fait d’autre que des additions. Et toute la journée il répète comme toi: “Je suis un homme sérieux ! Je suis un homme sérieux !” et ça le fait gonfler d’orgueil. Mais ce n’est pas un homme, c’est un champignon !

    – Un quoi ?

    – Un champignon !

    Le petit prince était maintenant tout pâle de colère. ”

    Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Le Petit Prince, chapitre 7.

    (A special friendly comment for limr, Margaret & friends ! )


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