I enjoy living off the land. Whether it’s squirrel sandwiches or sheepshead supper, I’m into it. Mid-summer, when the rains started dumping on New Orleans and making up for lost time, the mushrooms started popping up with abundance.
I’m no stranger to mushroom hunting, but I’m also no expert on wild mushrooms. I know what 3 types look like: morels, liberty bells, and chanterelles. Fortunately for me, my neighborhood is rife with chanterelles.
Chanties, as I call them, are delicious but deadly(much like lead paint). This is not a joke SO BE WARNED, I have poisoned myself TWICE(yep, twice) by eating chanterelles. Apparently, even though I scoured the internet for chanterelle information, I failed to see the 2 or 3 instances where some samaritan warns that they should be dry-sauteed before consumption. YOU HAVE TO COOK THEM TO DETOXIFY THEM. Get that moisture out of them and they are ready to eat. The poisonings were not fun, but they were an important lesson in living off the land and the limits of what Pepto Bismol can do.
Here’s the first batch of the season that I got straight from my backyard:
Dry those suckers out on a paper bag. Coincidentally, you should use a paper bag when collecting them, because they could get mushy in plastic. Just saying.
Also, bring a scissors so you can cut them from the stem. Before you cut ’em, ding the bell with your fingers to encourage the mushroom to drop spores. We’re trying to go sustainable with this bitch, yo.
Here was an even bigger score I got later in the week. Holy chanties! I found these suckers around the corner under a water oak. You can usually find them under trees where dead wood falls. For a long time, Rebecca hated me eating these things, but she has sine come around to the idea since I prepared them properly the last 4 or 5 times I’ve had them. Forage away, holmes.