We have been so busy this year, and we didn’t do to well for the morel season in the spring, so Tradd and I were itching to get out and hunt some mushrooms. And it so paid off today.
We got our morning chores done, packed up the dogs and set off to an adventure. Mushrooms are everywhere in the Upstate, South Carolina right now, since it has been raining so much. Purple, red, green, brown, yellow, orange EVERYWHERE. I love it. And who wouldn’t? Nature is so beautiful, beech trees, oaks, indian pipes, rattle snake orchids, birds of all kinds, turtles, creeks, rocks, grass, sunshine, moss, and so much more. For me having a camera on me is essential. I am always snapping photos, mostly mushrooms cause, well I am into mushrooms the most.
There is so much free food out there, food that is of very high quality. Mushrooms that you would pay very high dollar for in the grocery store.
Today’s focus were chanterelles. I would say we probably picked about 15-20 pounds of chanterelles. We found a ton of black trumpets too, which are in the chanterelle family. And then also pink and salmon chanterelles. If we got out there earlier, and kept going till it got dark we would have easily picked over 60 pounds. It was so much fun.
Other edible mushrooms we found were quilted russulas, lactarius volemus (I call them milkies), some edible boletes, hedge hogs. And then there were some poisonous ones like the destroying angels and other amanitas, satan’s boletes, and some cortinarius. But edible or poisonous we love them all.
And the dogs (Enoki & Wednesday), at the beginning they were just like two wild dogs running around, chasing each other, getting into the creeks and all muddy, and then rolling around in leaves and dirt. By the time we were thinking about turning around and going home, they were very tired, dragging their feet, and their tongues hanging out.
Afterwards we went to Mellow Mushroom, and asked their staff if they could put some of the chanterelles we found on our pizza. Yummmmmy! It was so good. We even sliced one chanterelle and put it in our Magic Hat #9. Tasty.
Anyways, all this mushroom talk must have gotten you hungry. Here is a recipe for a dish I made last night with Chanterelles (Garrett, our farm helper and mushroom lover brought us some he picked in the back of his house). I call it the:
Creamy 8-Ball Chanterelle Soup (for 2 people)
2 eight ball squashes
1/4 lb fresh chanterelles
4 cloves of garlic
1 small onion
1. Cut the tops off the eight ball squashes, and take out the seeds, making them look like awesome edible containers, where you will later pour in your chanterelle soup. Put the squashes in the oven at 450F, so they will become soft. I kept mine in there for about 20 minutes.
2. Finely chop the garlic and onion, and sautee on olive oil, then add in the sliced chanterelles.
3. Let cook for 3 minutes constantly stirring.
4. Add in heavy cream
5. Cook for 3 minutes
6. Add in your fresh chopped parsley, tarragon, spicy seasoning (as much as you want), salt and pepper
7. Cook another 2 minutes
8. Pour into the edible squash containers
Very delicious! Enjoy ?
If you pick 20 lbs of chanterelles, there is no way you will eat them all in a week, and if you will not sell them to a restaurant, you will have to somehow preserve them. They do not preserve well if you dry them out, unless you will put them in a blender and powder them, and then use the powder as seasoning in dishes.
The best way to preserve them otherwise is to sautee them lightly in olive oil, and then you can put them in the freezer for future use.
Some other ways you can preserve them is to pickle them, or make chanterelle vodka. I have never tried this before, but I think I might next week. I will let you know how it turns out.