Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Forest-Fresh Fall Food!

We had a few sunny, windy days' respite from the rain, but now it's soggy and muddy and grey. Not only that, of course, but this weekend the clocks fall back, so that next week the days will seem shorter with night falling earlier.

So it's especially important to celebrate those joys that do come with the dark, wet, cold days. And here's an especially joyous treat -- Chanterelles!! One of my little island neighbours (it's a little island, the neighbour is regular size) heads to the woods each fall to musroom pick and brings some of the harvest back to sell here for a crazy price. I worried that I'd either missed the sale or that it wasn't happening this year, but biking home the other evening, I saw a handmade cardboard sign announcing Chanterelles for sale at $5 a pound!!!! I would have screeched to a halt if my brakes worked better, but since I was heading uphill, I came to a pretty quick stop. Knocked on said neighbour's back door, asked if I could take four pounds, and then sprinted off with them before anyone could say I was being too greedy.

To give you a better sense of scale, I put a soup bowl next to the bowl of mushrooms -- there are two pounds in there, a wollop of delightful fall goodness. -- and by the way, if you like these blue bowls, there's more blue over at Mardel's. She's decided to join in the meme fun, along with Tiffany and Northmoon

See how freshly they've come from the forest floor -- they're still speckled with pine needles, easily rinsed off in the sink. Those pine needles I missed just add a bit of extra flavour in the pan. A few knobs of butter in the cast-iron skillet, some minced garlic, and then I sautéed a pound. Meanwhile, I cooked some linguine, and when both the linguine and the mushrooms were ready, I mixed them together, added some freshly grated sharp Balderson's Cheddar, and a perfectly simple, simply perfect meal was mine! (I used about half the pound of mushrooms, and had the other half the next night, again with pasta). Last year I sautéed some this way and roasted others, then froze them in ziploc bags to use later in omelettes and pasta. This year, since Pater comes home Friday night, I think I might only freeze one pound and use the rest up this weekend in a risotto and maybe in a pasta dish. So goooooood!

10 comments:

  1. Yum. I love wild mushrooms...

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  2. lucky you! these look almost to beautiful to eat. the way you appreciate them reminds me of dad, an appreciation for the whole food, sight taste scent. Glad you got to enjoy them
    hilary

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  3. Oh my goodness, I am salivating just looking at those mushrooms. How divine! Have you ever tried drying them?

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  4. Oh my goodness, those are gorgeous. I haven't seen any chanterelles this fall, although we usually have some. Risotto with Chanterelles is one of my all-time favorite things. Enjoy and have a bite for me.

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  5. What a treasure! One of my favourite memories was picking chanterelles here in Ontario with an elderly Danish couple who knew where to go. Free chanterelles! That's how we eat them too, as you did- and also as a fragrant mushroom soup.

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  6. Chanterelles, oh we have them too! And always in the fridge in mini-grip bags. These are safe mushrooms. When I was a little girl, I remember that it was much more fun to go to the forest to collect mushrooms than berries and you can guess why!

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  7. The clocks went back here in the UK last weekend and there is now that palpable sense of closing in and curling up. Different food (it's the porridge time of year) and a different pace. Having said that, we are having the mildest autumn that anyone can remember for years. People are still out and about in T-shirts! Most confusing . . .

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  8. Hilary: Remember -- Mom and Dad took that mushroom-identification course?
    Tiffany: Never have tried drying -- you?
    Mardel: After two nights of chanterelles and pasta, I made a risotto tonight. Yumm!
    Duchesse: Free chanterelles -- even cheaper than mine! Mushroom soup would be great as well, if there are any left . . .
    Metscan: I can't guess! Actually, I'd think a young child would prefer berry-picking to mushrooms, but I must be missing something here.
    60/16: our clocks turn back this weekend (oh I love that extra hour!). We had very warm weather, lovely days up 'til early-mid October, but we're in full fall mode now. Porridge time indeed!

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  9. So you didn´t guess? Well, the basket was full in no time, job done,freedom ; ) !

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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