Sunday, October 4, 2009
Chantrell Mushroom picking
Today we loaded up into our trusty Land Cruiser and headed west into the coastal mountains to pick wild mushrooms.This is not a task to do if you have not been carefully taught by a trustworthy person.It is VERY easy to pick a mushroom that would either kill you or at least make you very sick.My Dad has carefully spent years teaching both Chance and I which mushrooms in our area to pick. My Dad taught us when in doubt go with out, simple yet effective.
We had the boys with us and their education began a few years ago but we gave them some refreshing on what we were hunting,not to even touch an unknown mushroom and importantly not to pick an area clean.
Our trip today was to look for Chantrell's a beautiful amber colored mushroom with gills that run the undersides all the way to the edge of the mushroom. These tasty treats grow in areas where there are lots of fir trees,moss,damp and rotting trees.One of the ways we know we have found good hunting grounds is the air has a mushroom scent to it.
We found a few other things along the way too.Issac has a knack for spying critters and quickly being able to grab them.Much to our happiness Issac scooped up a Salamander (some regions call these little fellows Newts.) who was sleepy with the cool temperature of the day. We said our hellos to our little brother and then gently left him out of the pathway. Later on Chance found a 3 foot long Garter Snake basking in the sun to warm himself.These snakes when smaller can not bite you but considering his size and the fact that we respect wild things we walked around him to enjoy his warm spot. We also saw lots and lots of Elk poo,a good sign for mushrooms and to know these beautiful beasts are still holding on to their numbers.
I also spied tree sap stuck in a spiders web that was pretty darn neat.I am not sure how it happened or how but Mother Nature can do some amazing things.
The season for picking Chantrells is just getting started we saw many spots where the mushrooms were just poking their heads through the earthy duff. We are expecting some warmer weather this week and this will help the mushrooms wake up and poke all the way up.Next week we will go back to pick some more. So far together we picked 2 pounds worth of the Chantrell's. Chance sliced them and put them into the freezer for winter eating.
Tonight Chance is making Mushroom gravy to go with our dinner.We had left a beef roast cooking in the Crocpot/Slow Cooker so he will use the broth from that as his base.I can't wait for dinner. It was a pleasing day,very soul soothing and quiet.I hope your day was a good one too.