Forest to Fork

Forest to Fork

The whole point of learning to forage (and getting the supplementary reading material) was to be able to safely identify, harvest and eat wild edibles. We put that endeavour to the test when a recent hike on Mayne Island turned out to be a magical fairyland of mushrooms.

While looking for chanterelles and oyster mushrooms proved disappointing, there were plenty of winter chanterelles. Winter Chanterelles are identifiable by their size (less than 2″ wide), their colour (light brown, tan or dull orange caps), their gills (widely spaced and running down the stem), their stem (yellow, slender and hollow) and their lack of ring, veil or bulb. There aren’t many that look similar, and since the specimens we found ticked off all our identifying checkboxes we collected a couple dozen of the hundreds we came across.

Winter Chanterelles

Back at the cabin, I brushed the dirt off (chanterelles absorb water when washed, so avoid it if you can) and then dry sauteed them. To dry sautee, add the mushrooms to a hot pan without butter or oil. Sprinkle on a bit of a salt and then keep stirring them as they release their juices. When the juice evaporates, add butter or olive oil and cook for 5-10 minutes longer.

We ate ours on top of fried eggs, with a side of roasted potatoes and yams. (And nobody died.)

The Foraged Dinner

Yum! First forage dinner a success.

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