AND THEN THERE IS OUR WILD GARDEN!

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Posted by Gordon | Posted in News | Posted on 29-08-2011

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Last week I received an email from one of our co-op members, Chris Crosley, telling me that she has left a basket of wild mushrooms at my door.  I had noticed them growing in the woods following our recent rains and wanted to collect some but had not found the time nor the courage to spend a morning bending to reach the Chanterelles.  We had collected some last year and they proved to be quite a treat.  We both had consumed our harvest before Spring and had talked about getting more when they appeared this Fall.

 

IN THE WILD

A clump of Chanterelles (Cantharellus cibarius)

 

The Chanterelle is called the golden or egg mushroom and is one of the easiest mushrooms to identify in that it has false gills underneath the cap where as other golden mushrooms have true gills.  It grows throughout the world though it has been eliminated from much of its habitat in Europe by over harvesting.  I was first introduced to this delectable morsel by a french woman and her two daughters who were collecting them in my forest about 7 years ago.  They had been delighted when they saw them on a walk from a neighboring property.  There enthusiasm was so great that I became very interested in collecting some for myself.  And what a discovery it was.  They are delicately flavored and said to contain a hint of pepper (which I can’t discern).  I saute them in butter (and sometimes garlic) and eat them alone or with eggs.  A visit to google will give many ways to cook and eat them.

 

FRESH PICKED

WASHED AND CLEANED

 

IN THE FRYING PAN

INTO THE FRYING PAN

 

Many recipes suggest chopping the mushroom into small pieces before sauteing but I prefer to have them remain in larger pieces so that I feel that I have a mouthful when I eat them.  All edible mushrooms are delicious but this one is special.

 

BREAKFAST

THIS MORNING'S BREAKFAST with our fresh eggs.

 

MORE INFORMATION FROM THE WEB:

Cooking

Cut them into hunks of a generous size, so that the maximum amount of flavor can be appreciated. Chanterelles are meaty and chewy. One of the best ways to cook them is to slice and sauté them in butter. Cream or half and half and chicken broth are good additions. Chanterelles bake well and retain their flavor after long cooking. Eggs, chicken, pork, and veal harmonize beautifully with them.

After trying many recipes, we still prefer to cook chanterelles by baking them for 20 minutes in chicken broth with coarsely chopped onions. Serve this over rice or pasta. Potatoes will overpower the chanterelle flavor, as will many other vegetables.

Very few people eat chanterelles raw. They are peppery and upsetting, and they can make some people ill. In any case, their finest flavor can only be appreciated when they are thoroughly cooked.  (from   http://www.mssf.org/cookbook/chanterelle.html)

 

Just wanted to share this with you.  Meanwhile the progress on the garden expansion continues.  Thanks Chris!

 

Gordon

 

 

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