Wednesday is Foraging day, this week we were on the hunt for mushrooms. This is a favourite for all of us. Due to current social distancing regulations we foraged close to home while out getting some exercise. We couldn’t go to our usual stops so it was all the more exciting finding new places to forage. Sam and I both have memories mushrooming from our childhood and now share the fun with our children.
Growing up on a farm Sam and his younger brother Jock had many adventures. In the autumn months when they were 8 and 9 years old they would set their alarm for sunrise and head out down the paddock to collect field mushrooms. Once they arrived back to the house, they made a sign, grabbed some scales, bags and a small table. Sam and Jock set up stall on the corner of their road and sold mushrooms for $1 per kg to passers by.
When I was a child our extended family would meet at my uncle and aunt’s farm for Easter celebrations. After lunch we would pile on to the back of the ute and head down the back paddock with containers in hand on the hunt for field mushrooms. I never liked to eat field mushrooms but loved that bumpy ride on the back of the ute and the excitement of the hunt.
It was Sam that taught me the different types of edible mushrooms to forage. The main edible types in our area that we like to forage are Field Mushrooms, Slippery Jacks and Saffron Tops. When foraging there are a few things to remember, not all mushrooms are edible and only pic what you need. Today we found a bounty of Slippery Jacks. Slippery Jacks are found near pine trees they are brown in colour, slippery on top and underneath they are yellow with a sponge like texture. Although a little slimy on top when picking them after the rain, especially when you put your finger on a slug sheltering under them, they are my favourite of all mushrooms on the palate. I find the sponge texture undeath interesting to look at as each one is different. They do grow in the grass; however, we found these ones hidden under a mulch of pine needle. The easiest way to harvest them is with a knife, leaving the dirt behind means a much easier clean up.
The mushrooms we gathered today will be cleaned up, dried and turned into powder to be stored for future use. They are just as delicious fried up with a bit of butter on toast.
We’d love to hear about your mushrooming adventures and your favourite way to cook them. You can share your stories with us via email or our socials. We look forward to reading them.
~ Happy Foraging 😊