It’s mushroom foraging season!

Well, one of our favourite times of the year is here…

Mushroom Season!

We are lucky enough to live in an area filled with abundance of wild mushrooms, with quite a few of them being edibles!

Some of the wild mushrooms we found this year are:

  • White Chanterelles (Cantharellus subalbidus)
  • Yellow Chanterelles (Cantharellus cibarius)
  • Lobsters (really it’s a parasite but hey) (Hypomyces lactifluorum)
  • Admirable Bolete (Boletus mirabilis)
  • Pines (Armillaria Ponderosa)
  • Elf Saddles (Helvella lacunosa)

All in all, we feel pretty grateful for the abundance and diversity in our area, we truly are blessed!
This time of the year also includes hunting season, which gets Tim pretty excited (me too, yum yum) with all the wild possibilities of gathering our own foods.

Something though that we feel strongly about, is to always leave some behind. Like a “thank you” or a gesture of respect, it’s always best to leave behind a good amount, even if it’s just the ones that are “too far gone”. This encourages regrowth, and for some wild plants this allows them to continue to grow (as picking all can decimate certain plants – like ramps, as the growth rate can’t keep up).

We like to use a wire basket or something with small holes so the spores that drop from the mushrooms we collect and are able to return to the forest ground. Hopefully this encourages even more mushrooms!

As always, never pick or eat anything you do not know or are unsure of. If you are inexperienced with mushrooms, it is best to go along with someone who has knowledge about them or to take a course. If in doubt, and your not 110% sure about a mushroom, do not eat it, just leave it for the forest!
We only pick the edibles that we are confident on identifying; The ones that we feel we know distinct differences between the edibles and the non-edibles.
This ability and decision came with the knowledge that we have acquired, learned, researched, and got taught.

Here are photo’s of some of our collected mushrooms so far this mushroom season:

Were pretty excited, right now we have some very heavy rains. This will hopefully lead to more mushrooms popping up soon as long as the rain lets up for a bit. We always love adventuring out to find some tasty morsels.

Earlier in the summer (so not mushroom season, but hey) there happened to be a spell of perfect mushroom weather! Which in this case we got lucky and found bumper crops of some lobsters and white chanterelles. These we ate some of but decided to dehydrate for later winter use as we had too many to eat right away. Typically, unless we find a huge bumper crop, we have enough mushrooms for 1-2 meals which is perfect for us. It’s not overwhelming to deal with (as we have a million other things to do too),  and it leaves some for the forest and regrowth for the next year.

The Chickens are hiding away from this stormy rain, I must admit Nathan and I are as well. It is coming down with a ferocity unmatched so far this year! It’s a great reminder that I need to get Nathan and myself some good ol’ fashioned rain gear. My rain boots are in a sad state, and really have just become farmyard boots.

For now, we’ll enjoy this recipe and wait for the storm to let up a little.

Smoked White Chanterelle Mushroom Sauce

Around 2 pounds White Chanterelles
1 Large Onion, chopped
3 small – medium sized Garlic Cloves, Minced
4 Good sized sprigs of Thyme (I like to use Silver Thyme)
About 2 L. Homemade Chicken Stock (This will contain no Sodium then and is easier to season to taste)
500mL Whipping Cream
Salt and Pepper
White Wine Vinegar
large chunk Butter and Vegetable Oil

Smoke the Mushrooms in a smoker for around / just under two hours (or till desired smokiness is acquired). We used apple wood smoke. You want them to have a light smokiness about them as it will be toned down by the additions of liquid, etc in the sauce.

In a large pot, heat the butter (about 2-3 tbsp) and a good splash of vegetable oil on medium-high heat. Once the butter is melted and bubbling, add in the onions. Stir to coat.
Let the onions continue cooking until butter begins to golden and onions are nicely sweated out, with some starting to brown; About 6-8 minutes.

Add in the smoked mushrooms, chopped (including liquid left in bowl) and the garlic. Stir well to coat everything. Cook on high and reduce liquid down to a thick bubbling coating on bottom. Add in a good splash of white wine vinegar and cook some more to reduce and cook off the vinegar. Add in the sprigs of thyme and mix well.
Add the Chicken Stock and Whipping Cream, bring to a good simmer, and continue to cook stirring every once in a while. Let it simmer for about 40 minutes or so. Remove from heat and buzz-up using a stick blender to the consistency desired.

Use immediately and freeze extra (there will be extra).

We got approx. 3.5 L.

This goes great with meat and smashed potatoes… Chicken, Pork Chops, Venison Steaks, etc. the choice is yours!

Enjoy!

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