Gourmet Mushroomer Wannabe Not Ready For Prime Time
Wednesday 9 December 2015 — Category: Cooking & Food
When I saw this picture of my daughter Joanne on her Facebook recently, I was greatly astonished and terribly envious!
During a weekend visit to some friends in the Gold Beach area, on the southern Oregon coast, she went out mushroom picking in the forest.
In a short amount of time Joanne had somewhere around four pounds of gourmet chanterelle mushrooms! Seems like she had stumbled upon a hobbit’s paradise!
When Joanne came to our house for Thanksgiving, I was elated that she brought some of her precious trove to share with my wife and I. Like a proper miser, I first weighed my new treasure on a scale to see how rich I was, as you can see in the photo to the right. It turned out to be about one-and-a-third pounds of golden delight!
Then, with a hobbit’s passion for edible fungi, I set to work cleaning a batch to cook and eat with our Thanksgiving meal. Soon a skillet-full of chanterelles were sautéing in butter, white wine, salt and garlic powder (see third photo below). I was amazed by how much liquid came out of them — much more than with regular white mushrooms.
I had never eaten chanterelles before, so it was with eagerness yet trepidation that I took my first bite. I have to admit that I was pretty disappointed, because I didn’t find the taste to be that great. But my wife and daughter enjoyed them very much.
I have loved morel mushrooms for many years, but indulge in them only once in a great while because they are so expensive. This year I tried both shiitake and portobello mushrooms for the first time, and I liked the unique taste and texture of each. And of course, regular white mushrooms — sometimes in great quantity — are always a delight.
But these chanterelles just didn’t do it for me. I guess it goes to show that I’m only a gourmet mushroomer wannabe who is not ready for prime time. At least this experience cured me of my chanterelle envy!
So what about the remaining pound or so of chanterelles that my daughter gave us? We took about a third of that for my wife and I to eat the next day, and sent the rest back home with my daughter, because she would appreciate it much more than we would. Well, it’s the thought that counts, so she blessed me even if the mushrooms didn’t!
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