Monday, August 24, 2009

Secret Mushrooms

Joanne, my partner has some interesting friends from all her years as an auctioneer. One of them happens to be a mushroom gatherer. They became friends at the auction house where she often sold him vintage fishing lures, but truly bonded when she was diagnosed with breast cancer and shortly afterwards, his wife was as well.

They chatted about treatments and mental attitudes to fight the fight and gave one another support through the years. He’s a kind and gentle sort of man and very much in love with his wife.

One day about eight years ago or so, she came home carrying a big, brown paper bag and handed it to me and said, “Here you go, cook ‘em up!” She continued on about her friend that harvests wild mushrooms. I became excited and wondered if he’d take me along for a ride and offered to go blind-folded, but Joanne said he did this all in secrecy, so nobody can find his bits fungal gold. Bummer…but, at least I’d have the chance to savor them.

I looked inside, took a whiff of the earthly fragrance and could see there were about five pounds of ecru colored, magnificent chanterelle mushrooms. Now, who does that? Just gives away five pounds of these beauties and what could I to do with them?

Needless to say, dinner plans were changed and mushrooms when into everything for next week. Eggs and cheese with fresh chanterelles, angel hair with garlic, white wine and chanterelles, veggie burgers with goat cheese and chanterelles and who knows what else I did with them.

Just a few weekends ago we had planned to visit a friend’s local antique shop for her one year anniversary. The parking lot to the store sits right next to the street where a small farmers’ market sets up every Saturday morning.

As this was the end of the day, most vendors had left, but there was the Mushroom Guy! Joanne was parking and said she had to go over and see how his wife was doing and give him a hug.

We walked over and no sooner had we hugged and said hello than he handed us a three-pound box of stunning, luscious chanterelles. These were spectacular, bright orange beauties.
After my last experience with a grocery bag full of them, I knew we had to do something. Although we love mushrooms, being inundated with them morning, noon and dinner is more than we could bear with our busy weeks before they changed to mushroom slime. So, we decided to share them with some fellow mushroom fans.

Again, I served them with the eggs and cheese and over pasta with some wine and Romano cheese and a new recipe emerged; a little olive oil, a clove of garlic and a bit of salt and pepper and they went wonderful with the vegetarian tacos we had for dinner!

1 comment:

  1. Consider me SOOOO jealous! They look gorgeous. Let me know where he sells, so I can patronize him as well. -Pat B