Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Macrolepiota Procera

We have just recovered from severe rain and very strong winds over the weekend resulting in the loss of much of our fruit and some vegetables. The wind was intense at times and throughout the region, many orchards are devastated. Luckily we managed to harvest about 30 kilos of our russet apple before the main storm passed though.

45 litres of rain fell over twenty-four hours, much needed but gentler and over a greater period would have been better... but that's mother nature for you.

Setting off from La Pasera

We had in mind to go mushroom hunting over the next couple of weeks and the recent downpours prompted us to venture out this morning. After so much rain and good warm temperatures it is an ideal time for fungi to push through and bloom. We set off early and took the Camino de Santiago path that runs though the village. Heading along one of the many caminos that veer off towards the cliffs, we soon reached a pasture we knew from previous years. This particular pasture is perched on the edge of the cliffs and usually has an abundance of Macrolepiota Proceras (Parasol Mushroom). Needless to say it did not disappoint and we soon filled our basket with the most magnificent specimens we've seen in a while.

Macrolepiota Procera
We made our way home along the cliff tops and through the winding tracks that criss-cross the pastures. With the fresh smell of wild mint underfoot, intense autumn light, cheerful birdsong and the site of beetles dragging goat droppings into newly dug burrows, it was a really enjoyable walk. So peaceful and refreshing.

Luis with our haul of 'shrooms'

On the way home we passed several Pilgrims making their way to Santiago de Compostela, all of whom, on spying our basket of 'shrooms' asked about our haul and photographed them. The local farmer was busy scything grass for the cattle as his horse munched happily on fresh green shoots and apart from the insects and birds, we were alone... Bliss.

Lunch was an easy decision - sautéed parasol mushrooms, scrambled eggs and home made lightly toasted bread. The remainder of the 'shroom's were blanched, drained and frozen for use later in the year.

Footnote: we only ever gather mushrooms when we are 100% sure of their edibility - if in doubt, never eat fungi or berries you have limited knowledge of...Oh and another thing, pick responsibly.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry to hear about your storm damage, but it sounds as though the clouds had a silver lining for you in the form of fungus. Wonderful pictures, as always - I covet your mushroom basket!!


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