My sister took my daughter and I hunting mushrooms in the mountains outside of Portland. November is chanterelle season, and she’s a pro.
It was the Forest Primeval. Damp and incredibly green. The trees were huge, dripping with moss, and the undergrowth was about knee-high. We were soaked to the knees within minutes and deeply thankful for the loaned boots! It took a while tromping around until we saw the first one.
After that, we started finding more. When we decided to head back to the car, we saw clumps of them every few steps. I was shocked at the size- chanterelles grow here in Florida too, but they’re tiny sandy orange things. These chanterelles were giants.
All in all, we found more than five pounds of chanterelles, roughly $75 worth of mushrooms in two hours of tromping around. I laid them out on towels to dry for a day, and then took the brush to them. Chanterelles are worth the huge amounts of money charged for them in the markets- gathering them is fun, but cleaning them is tedious and time-consuming work. Doing it for yourself is worth every minute.
I sauteed them in plenty of butter and fresh thyme and served them with caramelized onions on good bread. They were the best mushrooms I have ever eaten! I wish Florida had mushrooming like this. Foraging makes me feel deeply connected to the land I’m on, I’m glad I had a chance to do this in Oregon.