It’s chanterelle season and I had the good fortune of finding a mushroom spirit guide (and new friend!) to take me into the forest for some hiking and scrounging. We brought home pounds and pounds of mushrooms. The chanterelle mushrooms went into a cream sauce pasta and into my mouth before we even photographed them, but they were beautiful, heavenly fruits of the forest with little apricot-colored caps, take my word for it. I had an excellent time digging around for the little treasures. I felt very self-satisfied when I saw chanterelle for sale at the Food Co-op ($9.45/lb) and the Farmers Market ($12.00/lb) and I paid $0.00/lb.
We also saw some red huckleberries, even though we’re past the prime huckleberry season. There were not enough to make jam or muffins, so I just ate them straight off the bush. Picking huckleberries is a real exercise in patience and endurance, so I may never make huckleberry jam. It takes at least 4 cups of berries to make jam, you know. I had high hopes that we would make it up the mountain to get some of the larger, blue huckleberries that grow in higher altitudes, but the stars did not align this year.
I am constantly in awe of how much food is just sitting around going bad while we drive past it to go to the grocery store. I had such a good time checking out all the inedible mushrooms, too. The forests around Olympia are an unimaginable wonderland in the fall. I don’t really know scientific names for these fungi, but I am happy to give them my own names.
A Baby’s Fingernail Mushrooms
Fairy Awning Mushroom
Lobster Mushrooms (That’s their real name)
And the inedible but quite lovely Amethyst Deceiver. (I didn’t make up that name! It’s real.)
If you have a favorite mushroom recipe, please share it ! Especially if you know how to use an enormous amount of lobster mushrooms (which are twice as expensive as chanterelle, probably because they are five times as hard to clean). In a perfect world, I’d like to get some more mushrooms and a dehydrator so we could have fancy mushrooms year-round. Why are there so many more worthwhile projects than free time?