Thursday, August 12, 2010

It's Wild Mushroom Season

It seems earlier this year than in previous years that we headed deep into the forest in search of our favorite wild mushrooms. Usually we go in the Fall but this year in early August after a week of cold rainy weather we began hearing reports that the mushrooms were popping out all over the forest.

We love the high elevation hiking in this town, the wildflower fields, striking waterfalls and gorgeous green lakes and streams but foraging for wild mushrooms is really exciting like going on a scavenger hunt.

Only a short car ride outside town is our favorite mushroom trail and so after breakfast and a trip to the Crested Butte farmer's market we headed up the dirt road past people running, camping and fly fishing.  Pink and yellow wildflowers line the road climbing up the mountainsides creating beautiful scenery all along the way.

As soon as we arrive with our backpacks filled with water, lunch and rain jackets, we quickly head into the forest.  Immediately we notice how wet everything is, and how moist the ground is beneath us.  There is a fresh scent in the air, a combination of pine and fragrant florals that is crisp and delicious and we hear the sound of streams and water gently rushing by.

I always have my camera in one hand and a bag for the mushrooms in the other because as we head up the trail we may see many different types of mushrooms in all sizes and shapes which I love to photograph.  The fly amanitas with their bright red cap and puffy white dots are something out of Alice in Wonderland but extremely poisonous. They are so colorful in the forest of mostly browns and greens that I love to photograph them.

On our first day out there are four of us and we all head slightly in a different direction off the rocky path in search of our own edible finds.  Soon we are calling out to each other to look at this one or come see these unusual ones and before long we have our bags filled with the golden Chanterelles, "The Queen of the Forest," with their apricot color and fruity scent.  Hawk's Wing, also called Chocolate Hedgehog with a rich flavor and the universally popular wild mushroom, the King Bolete, a strong and meaty porcini type.

This mushroom adventure was a first for our friends from Denver who were anxious to taste our wild treats.  As soon as we arrived home we cleaned the chanterelles, which is a laborous process and I sauteed them with organic button mushrooms, fresh garlic, butter, olive oil and a fruity white wine and served them over linguine pasta with parmesan cheese and whole grain bread from the farmer's market. So Delicious!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for stopping in to visit, I always appreciate hearing from you and value your comments!