Chanterelle mushrooms

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My husband and I went mushroom foraging today around the base of  Silver Star Mountain. I was hopeful that it’d be an adventure but, having never been before, I had no idea what to expect. It was rather dank so we dressed appropriately in our hiking boots and rain gear which kept us dry.

After finding our first Chanterelle, my husband was hooked. It is exciting to pick something out of the ground that you’d normally pay $4-$8 a pound for…and it’s free. We ended up with two pounds, 5 ounces of Chanterelles and five ounces of Oyster mushrooms.

I would not suggest going out with no idea what you’re doing because people have died from eating the wrong kind. Sometimes dying isn’t the worst thing that can happen to someone who eats the wrong mushroom; liver transplants and kidney transplants are not uncommon. And let me tell you, we saw so many mushrooms today. Hundreds of mushrooms and only two types were, beyond a doubt, edible. There may have been some others scattered about that could’ve been edible but who wants to risk a liver transplant on a maybe?

Foraged chanterelles cooking on the stove

We also saw a fish carcass on a fallen tree. A fish carcass in the middle of the forest is unexpected but, I suppose, a bird could‘ve dropped it.

It’s pretty against my basic instincts to stick my hand under a fallen tree and watch it disappear into moss to pull up a mushroom but you have to see the full stem in order to know if a mushroom is edible or poisonous. All I could think was ‘I hope nothing bites me or stings me or…” fill in the blank with whatever irrational fear you have.

Foraging mushrooms was fun and, at times, actually exciting. Hey, it got us out to try my new hiking boots and the ‘shrooms cooking on the stove smell fantastic!