Wednesday, September 21, 2011
The post man knocked today and handed over a large but very light box, marked Albion, CA. A box from Grandma Lola! The girls and I opened it and instead of sparkly bracelets and fabulous socks, there were bags and bags of gorgeous, golden Chanterelles! Now, that is a present. The best kind of present in the world is something you cannot provide for yourself. And this one, an epic, earthy and unexpected surprise. Sent from the forest floor in California, arriving in our cozy living room, the two or three pounds of Chanterelles made me feel suddenly rich. Wild harvested mushrooms are a distinct wealth; they are rare, they require knowledge, and they are fleeting. Plans for the day were scrapped as I set out to preserve the bounty. I adapted a recipe for Duxelle from Well Preserved by Eugenia Bone. And we saved a bowlful for supper. Coral was a quick study in mushroom chopping, being as she is at the age of always wanting a job.
Grandma Lola sent this recipe:
"I saute them in olive oil. Slice, saute until golden, add garlic, saute all until toasty. Put aside. You have boiled several potatoes for a few minutes, then chunk or slice and brown the potatoes. Combine when the potatoes are as brown as you like...get ready for delicious! Marvelous with any meat, we love buffalo."
I served it with Bison Meatloaf and the girls ate voraciously. I told them it was fairy food from the forest floor foraged by Grandma Lola, and that might have piqued their enthusiasm. The best part of that explanation? It was true! And it was indeed, delicious.