Fruits of the Forest

August18

Wild strawberries, raspberries, saskatoon, pin and chokecherries and especially blueberries abound in the Belair Forest where our cottage is located.  I have made blueberry jam as well enjoying pancakes, crisps and bumble.  The trick to blueberry picking in this area is to go into the bush in twos and to watch out for bears.

I understand though that the most savoury of treats is also found on the wooded floor-chanterelle mushrooms.  After collection, they need to be clean and frozen in a food saver or a ziploc bag.  When ready to use they should be defrosted and rinsed.

Chanterelles can then be sauteed in butter with shallots and garlic.  These can be served over toast or on crostini or tossed into a rice pilaf.  Dry sherry and whipping can be added to produce a mushroom cream sauce which is a treat over pasta or baby potatoes.

Chanterelles are orange or yellow, meaty and funnel-shaped.   On the lower surface, underneath the smooth cap, it has gill-like ridges that run almost all the way down its stipe, which tapers down seamlessly from the cap.   It has a fruity smell, reminiscent of apricots and a mildly peppery taste and is considered an excellent food mushroom. Chanterelles are relatively high in vitamin C, very high in potassium and among the richest sources of vitamin D.

Kath’s quote:  “Not being ambitious of martyrdom, even in the cause of gastronomical enterprise, especially if the instrument is to be a contemptible, rank-smelling fungus, I never eat or cook mushrooms.”-Marion Harland (1873) ‘Common Sense in the Household: A Manual of Practical Housewifery’


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