With the festive season fully here I have so much to share of our wintry days. Tomorrow, I hope to bring the joys of this past month, for we have been busy and back and forth from the city, but still pausing to take in the simple, true and sacred essence of Christmastime. During this time of year I notice how protective I feel of the experience of childhood...the magic, the wonder, and the spirit that lives wild and free in the imaginations of children. I've been doing my best to slow the celebrations down this year...every year I try to do so even more than the last. Oh my, this is a topic I could talk endlessly on! Today, I want to share the story of our forest bounty.
The locals tell us that this year was not a good year for mushrooms. Still, that hasn't stopped us from feeling as rich as kings when we leave the forest with a handful of delicious chanterelles. Earlier last month, one of our neighbours on the land was generous enough to share a couple of his mushroom picking spots deep in the woods. With Coco on Sean's back and Scout by our side, we followed him into the forest and through fields of ferns. There we picked a precious few of these orange delights, but it was enough for Sean to catch the foraging fever.
Since then, chanterelles have graced more than one Thai curry and a hearty beef bourguignon. In also searching for the elusive pine mushroom, Sean has returned home with more and more of these earthly gems. Growing up, we had shaggy manes on our land and we would fry them up with butter and salt, and cooking chanterelles reminds me so much of this. The experience of mushroom picking, we laughed, is as close to hunting for our food as we will ever come. You can't help but step lightly through the stillness of the forest, and there is gratitude, too, for the ability to gather one's food in the wild- the ancient task of hunting and gathering.
Sean and I don't really exchange presents at Christmastime, but if we see something that rings true for the other person we will. This book will be under the tree this year for my forest foraging husband. I'm already looking forward to the future feasts gathered fresh from the bounty of the wilds around us.