This fall was a record mushroom harvesting season here in the Pacific Northwest -- chanterelles especially. I'd never been chanterelle picking until this year but I've gone on a lot of other mushroom hunts and I love it. I love being out in the woods without a trail to follow and that combined with the magic and mossy hunt of golden chanterelles makes for a perfect rainy weekend day with friends.
And rain, and even hail, it did a few weeks ago when went chanterelle picking. We got dumped on but warmed up in the car afterward with dark rum spiked hot apple cider and homemade bacon apricot cornbread muffins with maple buttercream frosting that our friend Teresa brought. She spoiled us. And as if that wasn't enough we chased our snack with an early dinner at Tad's Chicken 'n Dumplings a.k.a. the chic dump.
I did a quick sort and clean of my mushrooms once I got home because even though I used scissors to harvest, leaving the mycelium intact and also leaving the muddy base behind, there was still (as there always is) a lot of dirt and needles to get rid of. After I cleaned the chanterelles I put them on a pan and warmed them dry in the oven.
We got a good amount from our spots but it wasn't a huge haul. I think we each got 3-4 pounds. That's what it felt like. I made two things with mine -- a really good risotto and a penne pasta with chanterelle cream sauce. Both were delicious.
Here's some more tasty chanterelle posts from local and afar food folks that I love: