Abundance in November


Heading up the main path from the river

After a soggy Saturday, yesterday was a glorious sunny day.  It was also the fall back time change so we had an extra hour in our day.  Craving some outdoor time and some sunshine we headed out bright and early for an adventure to hike the Canyon Trail in Campbell River area. We hiked along the river, past a hydro power plant and then I found a trail straight up the bank into a wonderful 2nd growth forest.

The path through the forest was very well maintained and the scenery was phenomenal.  We got in about two and a half hours of good hiking and witnessed the aliveness of the forest, even in November.  The forest floor is so green with moss, ferns and Salal right now.  It is strange how a dark place exudes life in its lush greenness.


view of part of the canyon

Of course among all the moss, twigs and ferns mushrooms abound.  I could not help myself and just happened to have a bag in my pack to store my foraged finds.  I am not familiar with mushrooms except for Chanterelles and so with my eyes peeled to the ground it wasn’t long before they started appearing.  Sometimes I would be alerted of their whereabouts by the one lone Chanterelle on the edge of the path.  From there I would look for a vein of them and usually was successful in finding one or two more.  As we walked deeper into the forest I found myself stepping off the path when we were on a mossy slope with plenty of Douglas Fir trees around.

It was again like a forest treasure hunt for me.  I got my partner involved eventually and the addictiveness of mushroom picking bit him and soon we were calling to each other with enthusiasm as we discovered little patches of the buttery morsels.  We picked enough to sauté with our moose roast dinner and some to make a batch of Mushroom Rosemary Soup.  Last night we feasted on the mushrooms sautéed in butter and garlic and served with roast moose, roasted carrots and potato wedges accompanied by Pear Lavender Preserve and Pear Brown Sugar Cardamom Preserve. Delicious.

pear lavender preserve from late summer pear harvest

pear lavender preserve from late summer pear harvest

Today after cleaning the rest of the Chanterelles I am going to make another of my favourite recipes from John Bishop, Oyster Mushroom with Rosemary Soup.  I will be substituting Chanterelles for Oyster mushrooms.  Along with the soup we will be having green salad with four kinds of lettuce, pomegranate and pears as well as some delicious looking  Feta Chive Scones that I can’t resist trying from Joy the Baker.  You can find the recipes by using the links or going to my recipe page.

Time to get cooking.

Mushroom Picking on the West Coast


Fresh Chanterelle Mushroom Saute

   It is exciting for me to be back on the West Coast after spending the last four years in the Okanagan. I loved the Okanagan but come Fall I  long to be back in the dark, damp rain forest looking for Chanterelles.  The first time I picked Chanterelles I had no idea what to do with them so I pulled out one of my favourite cookbooks, Cooking at My House, by John Bishop.  Sure enough there was a recipe for fresh Chanterelles.  The recipe was preceded by a short vignette that caused me to go out and buy a bottle of Sherry in order to serve the Sautéed Chanterelles exactly as John does. 

     At my house this dish is only served once or twice in the Fall, depending on the mushroom harvest and who is around to share it with.  I make creamy garlic mashed potatoes, John Bishop’s Fresh Chanterelle Mushrooms Sautéed with Thyme and Sherry and serve a generous glass of Sherry on the side.  That’s it.  This is a meal meant to showcase the Chanterelles and nothing else.  

     This year I was able to tag along a very experienced mushroom picker and friend and so finding these illusive fungi was fairly easy.  It also happens to be very good weather for mushrooms this Fall and so I was able to pick enough for our meal, which we shared with our neighbour and dry some for the winter ahead.  As usual, this meal was delicious and the company was also mighty fine.  Image