Well, here I am with another first. As the Beatles said, “When I’m si-x-ty-four.”
Yesterday morning I went into my forest with my two trusty companions, Pokey-Mokey and Lumix, and to my I delight, found subjects for more than my photo collection–I found some for my table.
First in pixels and then in my hands, I captured a lovely bunch of chanterelle mushrooms. Actually, I broke off only four, but as you can see, two of them are very large, so it was quite an impressive first harvest.
I was quite sure that they were edible, but wanted to double-check on the characteristics of the false, poisonous ones, before picking more.
So, double-check I did, and then with a stash of confidence and resolve in my “mushroom basket” I went back into my forest again. 🙂
I returned to my spot and this time, using my handy-dandy little Cutco switchblade, I sliced them off at the stem. I’ve learned since, though, that it was not necessary, since breaking them off does not hinder the continuing growth, as it does with some other mushrooms. I didn’t take them all, so those that are left will have a chance to grow much bigger before my next harvest.
I then continued my walk and found another healthy-looking plot and added more to my basket.
At home, I brushed and wiped them with paper towels. Don’t they look lovely!
My plan was to just “dry clean” them, but I didn’t like the looks of the tiny creepy-crawly things, so finally decided to gently dunk them in salty water for a good rinse. I set them in a towel in a colander and stored them in the fridge until I could experiment with them later.
Butter always makes things better, but, I can assure you that these didn’t need a lot of help. They are definitely delicious. My choice was to fry them until lightly browned, and then just sprinkle on a bit of salt and pepper. Oh, yummy. I will do this again! And maybe next time, I’ll even try them in a recipe.
So go ahead, be brave and forage for food. This morning, I fried up a few more to serve with my eggs and pork belly. 🙂
To be safe, check out some links, to be sure you know the difference between the true and the false chanterelle. A good place to start is perhaps by checking this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chanterelle