Monday, October 29, 2007

Fall Colors & Chanterelles

Though no match for a forest full of sugar pines (see my post on Cape Breton Island), southern Oregon has some beautiful fall colors of its own. Our forests have a number of hardwoods, including Acer-family maples which are small but very graceful. Even the vineyards, and we've got a lot of very fine ones, turn a wonderful shade this time of year.

My partner & I spend a lot of time in the Autumn wildcrafting mushrooms in the woods. It's a great way to get out and reward the taste buds at the same time. We've got the really big, white Chanterelle mushrooms that chefs just drool over. And we generally bring back several pounds from each trip to the woods. Yum. So much better than the storied Matsusaki shrooms.

Chanterelles come in yellow and white, and we've got them both. Though our personal site is a secret (don't even ask), these gourmet culinary shrooms can generally be found in old growth forest under fir trees. They smell a little like apricots and are full of moisture - so they are best sauteed dry. We eat them in eggs, with meat, and in a wild mushroom cream soup we make.

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