Meet the woman foraging her entire Christmas dinner – after spending a year gathering mushrooms, chestnuts, and acorns.

Zoe Young, 29, has an interest in social history and previously tasked herself with eating a rationed diet for a week – like families did following World War II.

She found herself going into nature to find food which inspired her next challenge – making an entire Christmas dinner from foraged food.

The support worker has spent the year hunting for mushrooms – such as oyster and chicken of the woods mushrooms – and chestnuts to use in a wellington.

Zoe he is making Yorkshire puddings with acorn flour and eggs from a local with chickens.

She has also urban foraged – identifying and collecting foods growing freely around your city – finding unopened jars of jam and sauces on the streets.

She plans to make and enjoy the meal with partner, Matt, 31, in the run up to Christmas.

Zoe, from Macclesfield, Cheshire, said: “I started off doing social history – like the ration challenge.

“I found out how much I liked it.

“I found myself going outside looking for stuff.

“I thought I could try foraging for Christmas dinner.

“Everything is seasonal – you find things as you go along.

“It’s completely surprised me how much you can find.”

Zoe took part in a ration challenge in December 2022 – only buying food 1950s Brits ate after the war.

It forced Zoe to think outside the box – picking wild nettles and hawthorn berries for soups, teas and jams.

After loving that challenge she decided to go one step further and make a completely foraged Christmas dinner for herself and Matt.

Zoe said: “I had to work out what I could make.

“I couldn’t have a Christmas dinner without a Yorkshire pudding – how do I make a foraged one?”

Zoe collected acorns to ground down into a flour and managed to find a local who had chickens for the eggs – and traded them for some homemade wine and jam.

For the main, Zoe has spent the year collecting mushrooms and chestnuts to make a puree for a wellington.

She said: “I’m a mushroom expert now.”

Zoe got her potatoes and vegetables from a friend – as her crops didn’t take.

She has also made a jam to go with the meal from hawthorn berries and has found wild horseradish for an alternative sauce.

Zoe said: “The berries – it’s like a cranberry jam.”

The couple will be seasoning their food with wild garlic and herbs.

They will also be making cocktails from rose hips and have made wine out of apples.

Zoe said: “Things grow on stumps where you least expect it.”

She has found extra unopened sugar, salt, pepper, milk and sauce sachets from the streets to include in her recipes.

Zoe has been amazed by how much she has been able to find and has it all stocked up in her freezer ready to make.

She said: “Chicken of the woods mushrooms taste just like chicken.

“It’s mad.”

Zoe has also sourced some game meat from partner Matt – for his wellington.

Matt said: “It’s been great fun. An adventure.

“I’m looking forward to when we eat it.”

Zoe’s foraged Christmas dinner –

Mushroom and chestnut wellington – foraged mushrooms and chestnuts for the filling. Acorn flour and eggs from a friend for the pastry.

Potatoes and seasonal vegetables – grown in a friend’s garden

Yorkshire pudding – acorn flour and eggs from a friend

Game for Matt’s wellington – sourced from a friend

Apple wine – made from foraged apples

Hawthorn berries jam – made from foraged berries