Monday, November 29, 2010
We've finished another grateful and delicious mushroom season at Organic Antics. Don't worry about us though because now we get to relax and eat. As I collapse into winter it becomes clear that these antics should be documented. Having no graceful ease upon a keyboard I have to admit that I'm still a bit disconcerted about blogs and other social media, but if I weren't then you probably wouldn't want to read a wildcrafted, fungophilac, gourmandaic memory log of mine anyway. This is how it begins. Last week I finally found it! Right before the snow! I have several places where I can randomly run into massive quantities of chanterelles but I literally hit the yellow brick road this time.; I can't fathom how many chanterelles were laid out in front of me. Pleasantly I noticed that there were at least three flushes untouched on this many acred patch. Nobody has been here! An hour later I was hustling fifty plus pounds out while trying to avoid any other picker that might wander around the next massive Douglas Fir, which they never do and which I always expect them to. I didn't feel quite as nimble though after my frantic dance with a wild slope of a Northwest mountain forest. Oh my aching back. I had barely touched the patch but had all I could possibly carry the 2 miles back to the car. Back in the car I debated how I was going to present this to my wife. “I know both of us and the kids will have to clean mushrooms for two days straight honey but think of the steaks and gravies and the eggs and the soups”. She wasn’t going to go for it. Maybe, “Christmas presents honey; everyone loves dried chanterelles in their stockings. Their Christmas stockings I mean. I’m probably the only one who likes dried chanterelles in my regular socks so that I sporulate when I walk. Actually it didn’t matter what I said because I knew that all I would get was a quizzical look that said the same thing every time I returned from one of these forays, “Have the mushrooms affected your mind? Oh well, if nothing else I use all of my waste product to kindle new patches as well as to strengthen the genome of existing patches. Waste product patches are incredibly prolific and having noted evidence of it working with several species I highly recommend it. All right back to the kitchen, where all good little mushrooms go when they die. Here’s a great chanterelle idea for folks to try. Dry sauté retaining some moisture and freeze them for several months or at least until you are craving them again instead of seeing them in your dreams and waking up with cramping limbs. Find a good pho’ recipe and add the chanterelles to it. They add some great substance to the soup and the buttery flavor goes very well with the normal pho’ suspects. This was an incredible chanterelle year and if I hadn't been so busy tirelessly stalking the finer but deeper edibles I would have filled my house with them. The freezers are full from the gardens the woods and the pastures. The tractors work most of the time and the stove is a bubblin and a bubblin with something good cooking all the time. We'll pop back and forth in time and I'll fill in the blanks regarding the commitment to minimalism, extraordinary food, and bio-remedial living. In this space and time the way we live seems to be quite different from the way most folks do and if there is benefit to what we've learned we want to share it with others.