A little market stall outside my local supermarket sells berries. There are wild blueberries (they merit another post), northern highbush blueberries, lingonberries, late strawberries; chanterelles (right; not berries); and – this year – damsons. I’ve never seen them being sold anywhere around here.
I’ve been reading about people. About real people, not fiction people.
First I read Anne de Courcy’s book The Viceroy’s Daughters, the Lives of the Curzon Sisters. 435 pages of un-putdownable reading. This book is based on private diaries, family letters and photographs, on talks with people reminiscing past events. It’s about the time when the wealth and privilege of the British upper classes were at their highest. It’s about parties glittering with magnificent jewellry, about operating on the highest political levels during both World Wars, about sibling rivalry, about house parties and Mediterranean holidays and about messy domestic morality.
I had been chopping firewood (using a log splitter; I’m not too handy with the axe) and was carting them down to the shed with the wheelbarrow when something on my right caught my attention. Something orange. Cadmium yellow pale to be precise :-) Chanterelles.
As I wrote earlier, I don’t do mushrooms. I’ve never learned to recognize the good ones and I don’t want to take risks. Eating other people’s mushroom dishes I, frankly speaking, don’t know what all the fuss is about. If I need mushrooms for a dish I go for the cultivated button mushrooms you get in supermarkets. Or shiitake. At least I know what I’m eating.
But chanterelles are chanterelles. In my vocabulary they aren’t mushrooms. I pick the ones on our plot and take a short walk along the tiny road behind our fence and pick what I find. Not much (especially as I saw a neighbour foraging beyond that road yesterday). Just enough for one or two sandwiches. I fry them in butter and eat them with toast, with a few grinds of black pepper. Homemade bread. How’s that for lunch?
I'm Piisa and I will be sharing with you my thoughts on this and that, maybe even on whatever.