Yes folks, it’s that time again, it’s harvest time! Nature has worked hard preparing great ingredients for you. All you need to do is go and pick them up. Here’s what I mean. There’s always a farmer who has too many pumpkins. Also, apples and pears are on the ground just waiting for you. Sometimes, people or city governments will advertise that they have extra fruit so that you can come and take them for free. Check it out.
More Grapes than he can eat
I saw grapes growing the other day. The owner begged me to take some because he had too many to eat himself. The plums are sweet and ready to eat. Do a little research. Find out where there are walnuts or pecans are growing. They grow on trees by the way, I had five of them growing in the yard in Austin. Maybe you have hazelnuts trees not far away. Here’s a simple tip: If you see nuts growing and you can see that they are ripe but still on the tree, just shake the tree. The ripe ones will fall to the ground.
It is great to get all these things but what I really love about this time of year is mushrooms! That means going to the woods and checking favorite mushrooms spots. You arrive and there they are. Mushrooms, in the grass and just waiting to be picked up. Make a clean cut with a knife just above the grass so that they might have a chance to grow again.
Enjoy the smell of Nature
Put the mushroom close to your nose. Breathe in deeply. It’s heavenly. The wild smell of nature and vegetable protein that’s begging to be made into something great. Inspect the mushrooms immediately for any unwanted visitors and to be sure that don’t have any mold. Then smell them again, oh yeah! Put them in a basket if you have one or cotton bag. All that good stuff is just the beginning.
Now take them home and clean them gently with a soft brush, getting off any leaves, grass, dirt and inspecting them for bugs. Then here is what I do. I put the very best-looking ones aside and make something out of them that day. You can make risotto, mushroom with parsley and two-nut sauce for pasta, a mushroom omelet, or just cook them alone in a pan and eat them.
Experience the joy of wild food
But remember that the joy of going and getting wild food is to make something with it the day that you get it. If you don’t have time to make something with the best mushrooms, then you can slice all of them very thinly, put them on a tray and dry them. Remember to check them and turn them during the drying process. Once they are dry, you can store them in can be stored in a glass jar for a least one year. Open that jar up and take another deep breath again. It smells great! Doesn’t it?
Start with someone who really knows About Mushrooms
How do you start picking mushrooms if you don’t know anything? It is important to go with someone who really knows about them. Go with a friend or find a group that gathers mushrooms. After you do that, you can look for information in books or YouTube videos for example, to increase your knowledge. But first get some help. Become an expert on one mushroom. Then learn the second, then the third, and so on.
I have about five mushrooms that I know and ONLY take them. Usually, I see three different types that I know when I go look for them. Sometimes only one. The fun is getting out there and finding them. Then you can go home and make something great with what found. Give it a try. Let me know how it goes.