It's CHANTERELLE mushroom season, y'all!!
Updated: Jul 26, 2021
And I'm as thrilled as I can be! I absolutely LOVE the flavor of a chanterelle. And---the very best thing is they grow in the woods in front of my house, so I get them for FREE!! Who doesn't love free?? Now, mushroom foraging is not something I recommend you just jump into by yourself. Find a friend or a guide who can help you learn the basics about mushroom identification. My friend, Micah, took Brad and me off on a mushroom adventure where he pointed out many varieties I was unfamiliar with, gave us some pointers on identifying edible mushrooms as well as the poisonous ones, and explained about when to expect the different edibles to appear according to the season. Chanterelles are a late spring, early summer mushroom. I've found them as early as late April, but the normal time for them to start popping out is late May into June. Rainfall and temperature play a big role in determining when they make their appearance so I just keep my eyes open towards the end of Spring. This particular year (2021) they are out late--June is almost over and I just found my first chanterelles!
Regardless of the time, I'm just thrilled they are out because I love to cook with them. They like to grow in shaded, wooded areas with heavy leaf/pine needle ground cover near hardwood trees. Sometimes Chanterelles grow in clusters, but not always. Occasionally you'll come across one lone mushroom! But in my experience, they like to grow in groups. I find that the younger the mushroom, the better the quality. If you find a monster chanterelle, you will be VERY lucky if it's edible. Usually the large ones are hosts to small worms and insects who claimed the mushroom before you got there!
Moma and I found some big ones and they were is great condition. See the whopper Moma is holding? It was the perfect mushroom---no worms, tender, and it cooked up deliciously! So, while SOME big mushrooms are not fit to eat, keep your eyes peeled! You may luck up like we did and find some monsters that are just right!
In your mushroom foraging, always try to cut a mushroom at its base rather than pulling them up. It helps the reproduction cycle, so instead of growing a new base, it doesn't have to start from scratch. It's important to remember that mushrooms reproduce by spreading spores and not by seeds or root propagation. So after you cut a mushroom, turn it over and lightly blow on it. This helps disperse the spores! Once you get in the habit, it will become second nature to you. I always carry a colander or a cloth/mesh bag to collect my mushrooms in. This keeps them from getting bruised and crushed AND it also helps spread spores. And I always take either a knife or a pair of scissors. Never take ALL the mushrooms from an area and DO NOT PULL THEM UP BY THE "ROOT." Cut, don't pull. And--only take what you plan to use. In addition to bugs and worms, deer, squirrels, and other critters find them quite tasty, so share the bounty, everyone! HAPPY MUSHROOM SEASON, Y'ALL!
#mushroomseason #chanterelle #naturesbounty #ilovemushrooms #foragingisfun
Chanterelles make my green bean casserole even more fantastic!!
Just look at my process. You end up with a mighty fine casserole! I'll share the recipe below.
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Recipe for printing or downloading:
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