Sunday, July 22, 2012

Gold in the forest

I've always had a bit sarcastic attitude towards mushroom praise. You know, when people post the outcome of their mushroom hunting to Facebook. But I guess I've just been envy for not knowing good mushroom places here in Helsinki region.

However, now the tables have turned and I'm joining the praising team: I've been picking chanterelles and I loved it! It's unbelievable how rewarding it is to spot the shiny yellow gold in the moss and gently pick them up into basket. I believe this year will be a good mushroom year, thanks to the rainy summer weather - It must be, since even I was able to find mushrooms on my own.

In Finland you don't need anyone's permission for picking berries or mushrooms for your own needs. You can simply walk into forest and start picking them. But of course you should know what to pick and where to pick, since some of the mushrooms are poisonous suckers. The mushroom season starts with the chanterelles, most likely you can spot them for about a month and a half from now on. Chanterelles tend to grow in semi-sunny places, in the very same hoods with birches, moss and wild strawberries.

What do you do with chanterelles? Pick them, clean them and fry them on a pan (without oil or butter) - until the mushroom juice has been evaporated (and the mushrooms have shrank into half). Then just freeze them for the winter. And if you want to eat them right away, then use some butter in frying, chop some onion along, a bit of salt and black pepper. Voilá.

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