In May 2011, after four years of life on McNutt's Island, we moved to Montreal. This blog remains, though, as a (sort of) daily record of our time on the island, and a winding path for anyone who would like to meander about among its magical places. For additional perspectives and insights I recommend Greg's book, Island Year: Finding Nova Scotia (2010), and my Bowl of Light (2012). I'll continue to post once in a while. If you do want to read this blog, one option would be to begin at the beginning of it (which is, as we all know, in blog-world, at the end), and read forward, concluding with the most recent entry. It's a journal, really, so it does makes more sense if you read it that way. But, you know, read it any way you like.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Island chanterelles

Before we moved to McNutt's Island the closest we got to our food was an occasional trip to a farmers' market. But things have changed for us. We had our first foraging experience two summers ago, with the island's wild raspberries. Last summer, emboldened by that first easy success, we branched out to chanterelles.
Chanterelles are particularly beautiful mushrooms. They are the colour of apricots and fluted, almost like a lily. Our friend Lothar, who is experienced in these things, introduced us to them and showed us how to recognize them so we wouldn't pick something else by mistake. They are easy to find once you know where to look. This cool and rainy summer has been good for them, and in the past few days we have collected twelve pounds.

We cleaned them, then Greg chopped them up and dry-sauteed them and now they are mostly in the freezer for future use. Also, we have been eating them: in an omelet, in a quiche, as tempura, in a Thai shrimp dish, as cream of chanterelle soup, and in a few other ways. Here's one:

Chanterelle and potato chowder

1/2 c. chopped onion
1/4 c. butter or margarine
2 tbs all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 c. water
1 pound chanterelles, sliced
1 c. chopped celery
1 c. diced peeled potatoes
1/2 c. chopped carrots
1 c. light cream
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese

In a large pot, saute onion in butter until tender. Add flour, then salt and pepper. Stir to make a roux. Gradually add water, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir 1 minute. Add chanterelles, celery, potatoes and carrots. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add cream and Parmesan cheese.

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