Category: Mushroom hunting

Mushroom Foraging

We had a very successful mushroom forage last weekend. We got lucky with both the mushrooms and the weather, and it was agreed by all that it was a very well spent Sunday morning activity. Led by our keen Mushroomer, with over 10 years of experience under his hat, we were taken to the secret spots of edible fungi abundance….

Mushroom foraging

Pine forest

Mushroom foraging

Pine Ring mushrooms

Mushroom foraging. This ones not edible!

Happy mushroom Forager

Mushroom forest

Mushroom hunting Cape Town

Mushroom Forage with Forage Harvest Feast

Mushroom foraging course Cape Town

Wild mushroom harvest

Once our mushroom eyes had peeled open, we really got lucky. And even got some exercise too – someones pedometer said she took 10 000 steps. Food and exercise – endorphins AND enough Pine Rings for the next few meals? Who could ask for more. Although I will never look at a packet of Dennys in quite the same way, those wild mushrooms are packed with flavour.

Its no wonder the Pine Rings Latin name is Lactarius deliciosus.

Fried up in butter with a bit of garlic and fresh herbs, with scrambled eggs on toast, in a venison stew, rolled up in a pancake, in a pasta sauce, cream of wild mushroom soup. Now my mouth is watering. I have to go make a snack quickly…

Β  Looks like fun? Why not join us for the next one happening this Saturday the 14th of June at 11am. Email roushanna@hotmail.com for more details.

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Mushroom foraging

The soil is moist, the days are cool, the rain has fallen.

Its time for mushrooming in the forest.

forest

The atmosphere in the forest is calm and clear and fresh. Under the pine needle mulch, the earth teems with life.

Led by my father, a very keen and experienced mushroom hunter, we were hoping to find the romantically common named saffron milk cap/pine rings or the scientifically named Lactarius deliciosus. The Latin name says it all.

In the parking lot, we met foragers returning from the forest. With baskets in hand and a glint in the eye, foragers are easy to identify.

What was collected and how they were going to prepare them were discussed. Then we were off, excited and dreaming of mushroom dishes already.

Mushroom foraging

These orange-brown fungi start popping up in the Autumn in the acidic soil under conifers. If they are handled too much, they bruise a dark green colour. Knives are used for harvesting and baskets are used for collecting them in, so any spores that are released from the gills may fall back down onto the ground.

Rusulla mushroomThe first mushrooms we spotted were one of the toxic Russula species. These were quickly shown to the children to identify as poisonous. Please – never go mushroom foraging without an experienced mushroomer – there are far too many seriously toxic species out there. Don’t risk it – this is a job for a knowledgeable human, not Google images.

Wild brambles

Wild brambles were spotted. But no mushrooms yet.

We were not the only species foraging in the forest.

Finding ourselves surrounded by a big troop of baboons, we stopped gazing down and looked around. A huge alpha male, mothers, uncles, aunties, sisters, brothers and babies. About 20 Chacma baboons were playing and slowly making their way up the mountain, scratching and nibbling at bits and pieces along the way.

BaboonsbaboonsBaboons

Two massive baboons had recently and unusually raided our house, terrifying our kids in the process. So it was quite special to walk quietly through this playful and nonchalant troop and watch and enjoy them in their own environment as opposed to being fearful of them in ours. My kids now have a different outlook on them and the fear factor is somewhat reduced.

BaboonChacma BaboonsThe real foragers.

And then we found them. Nestled in between some wild Centella asiatica, a couple of beautiful orange caps were winking at us. Our mushroom eyes were now open – let the hunt begin!

Mushroom foraging

Pine ring mushrooming

Mushroom hunting

Pine ring mushroom foraging

Mushroom foraging

Wild mushrooms

Did you know there is such a thing as mushroomers etiquette? Never pick the small ones, rather leave them to grow bigger. He who finds it, picks it. Dont wander over to where a stranger has struck it lucky and start picking, its rude. If you have founds loads and a sad forager walks by with nothing in their basket, you can share a few if you are feeling generous.

Mushroom foraging

Satisfied with our gathered goods and our afternoons adventures, we made our way back down the mountain, discussing recipes and getting hungrier and hungrier with each step.

Mushrooms fried with garlic and fresh herbs in butter. Eaten on toast. Blended up for a hearty soup. Mushroom risotto. Mushroom quiche. Mushroom omelet. Creamy mushroom pasta. Mushroom steaks slow baked with Camembert and rosemary.

Mushroom foraging

Unfortunately I have no food photos to show you – somehow the eating of the food became more important than the photographing of it.Β  But I can assure you they were the best mushroom omelet and mushroom, Bree and rosemary quiche ever. Next time I will take photos, I promise – for there are more mushroom forages to come. We thank you mycelium. If you want to join us, we will be going on a few very small grouped forages this winter – email roushanna@hotmail.com for more info.

Keep warm and happy Autumn!

Β 

Wild mushroooms

Its has been raining on and off for days now, but today the sun came out to play. And so did we.Β  And the sheep and their lambs. And the rest of the animals.

Baa baa white sheep

But we left them to sunbathe at the nursery and went to the beach instead. The waves were too messy and wild to surf so we just played in the waves and collected seaweed to be marinated for tomorrows salad.

Scarborough beach

On the way home decided to see if any mushrooms had decided to pop their heads up for our supper. They had. You have to adjust your vision a bit and get your “mushroom spotting” eyes on as they are little tricksters, cleverly disguising themselves as old leaves under fallen pines needles, bushes and grasses. But once you spot one *like magic* you can see them appearing all over the place. I couldn’t find anything for ages though. Husband: “Look for suspicious little mounds of grass.” Boy child: : “I am EXCELLENT at finding them!” The confidence of 6 year olds should be bottled and sold for millions. Girl child did not say much as she is only just 1, but wanted to join in so shouted “Mama! Mama!” crossly at some pine cones she was foraging for in the puddle she was sitting in.

We found some slippery jacks and some pine rings

Wild mushrooms

Which would go perfectly in a pasta sauce with some Trachyandra or Veldkool as it is commonly known, that we had foraged earlier in the day. Their tender flower buds are similar to young asparagus.

Trachyandra

There is something uniquely special about eating local foraged wild foods, giving you the feeling of really being in touch with the season. Getting the exact vitamins and minerals your body is suppose to be receiving. Back to our roots. Back to basics. But in a really delicious sort of way.