Oregon Mushroom Foraging

mushroom foraging with wild craft studioA couple of weeks ago, Kristian and I ventured from Eugene to White Salmon, Washington for a mushroom foraging workshop hosted by Wild Craft Studio. I found Wild Craft Studio on instagram many months ago and have been swooning over their vibes ever since. I met a lovely girl (hi, renée!) at Aran Goyoaga and Leela Cyd's workshop in September, who mentioned she had attended one of Wild Craft's workshops and that it was awesome, which totally solidifed my desires to attend a workshop. Fast forward a couple of weeks and the social media gods places a link on my twitter feed for a mushroom foraging workshop hosted by Wild Craft Studio. PERFECT! I thought. Kristian's birthday was coming up and what better way to celebrate then to keep with our adventurous summer spirit and head to the Colombia Gorge to play in the woods and learn how to forage for mushrooms. Plus, I have been dying to go mushroom foraging for the past...um, four years. Ah—it was such a magical day in the woods with the lovely Rachel, our mushroom guru, a fabulous group of girls and the birthday boy...

mushroom foraging with wild craft studio mushroom foraging with wild craft studio mushroom foraging with wild craft studio mushroom foraging with wild craft studio mushroom foraging with wild craft studio mushroom foraging with wild craft studio mushroom foraging with wild craft studio mushroom foraging with wild craft studioKristian and I seriously had the best time ever. Since our foraging adventure, we have gone in search of mushrooms multiple times. We have yet to find any chanterelles—which is like finding the golden egg at the easter egg hunt—but have found some fun non-edible mushrooms and have had a blast while being out in nature. Mushroom hunting forces you to be VERY present in nature, which is one of the reasons I think I have fallen in love with it. It's totally not about finding the most pirzed mushrooms or even ones that are edible but rather exploring nature with a purpose and being utterly engaged in each moment because...mushrooms could be anywhere, so you become very focused on looking versus letting your mind wander. It's sort of a meditation, if you will.

Kristian and I came home from the Wild Craft workshop with loads and loads of mushrooms. We hit the chanterelle motherload during that day of foraging and even gave some away. Mushrooms should not be washed too much because then they become uber slimey and waterlogged (no bueno!) My chanterelles were absolutely covered, COVERED, in dirt, so I followed this chef's fabulous insight into cleaning chanterelles and they turned out wonderfully (unlike a prior experience a couple of weeks earlier where I totally  waterlogged some chanterelles and tried to pretend that the slimey mushrooms were tasty...yeah, not so much.)

Pan-fried Chanterelles
Ingredients
  • chanterelles
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter or ghee
  • fresh rosemary
  • sea salt
Instructions
  1. Heat fat of choice over medium-high heat in a skillet, preferably cast-iron.
  2. Once skillet is hot, place mushrooms in butter/ghee and lightly combine. let cook for about two minutes and then stir them for another 1 minute or so. It is imperative to not over cook them. they will most likely only need 2-4 mintues.
  3. Once the mushrooms seem done, toss rosemary into the pan and combine with the mushrooms and then remove mushrooms, garnish with salt and serve immediately.
Notes
When you have something as amazing as chanterelle mushrooms, you keep the cooking simple and let the natural flavors shine through. Make sure to clean your chanterelles but also accept that some dirt may remain on them. Do not wash them. Read above and watch the youtube tutorial.