Saturday, June 30, 2007

Fried Fungi

Lots of rain in the boreal forest brings out mushrooms. With the right balance of temperature, sun and rain mushrooms come out. In past years there has been so many mushrooms and of different varieties it is almost too much for my small mind to handle because of its quality of magical beauty.

We harvest edible mushrooms.
We take about 1/3 of the mushrooms we find leaving the rest to continue their life cycle.

Rosy larch and king bolete have pushed their way through the earth everywhere in the past couple of days.

Aki dries them. By the time winter arrives we have a mushroom cache; Oyster, field, horse and bolete.

We discovered an incredible delicacy yesterday. A large grouping of oyster mushrooms that had dried in the last week in perfect condition. We brought them home, marinated and reconstituted them in wine. Fried in butter, a touch of lemon, salt and pepper. It was one of the best meals I've had.

Rose hip wine is coming.

In the 10 years we've lived here surrounded by "crown land" we've lost 90% of our mushrooming grounds. Five years ago lumber mills got a blank cheque with the excuse of the pine beetle. They've taken everything around us. Fir, spruce aspen along with the pine. After they've taken what they wanted everything is bulldozed into a slash pile and burned. The trees go, the mushrooms go.
On a late fall evening, we drove up to the edge of the Chilcotin. It was dark. A red glow on the horizon grew larger as the climb home gave way to the plateau. The fires had been lit. There appeared dozens of red glowing halos dotting the ravaged forest along the roads. Massive fires fueled by gasoline and diesel, which would for weeks burn limbs, roots and unworthy trees, erase them as if they had never existed.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


Dandelions are high in vitamins A, B and C and minerals like calcium, potassium, iron, phosphorous and magnesium.. The flowers are rich with vitamin D. The roots are said to be good for your liver and blood.

Aki, Kai and I eat dandelion as a main source of vegetable and green for the months of April, May and into June.

As we get our garden turned in the spring the dandelions we let alone the season before have small carrot sized roots. We stir fry them. They're excellent. The young greens are excellent salad material. The flowers we mix into omlettes, stir frys, salads and soups. Aki rolls the flowers in flour and seasoning and fries them in butter. They taste like a mushroom. We eat bags of them. We stop eating the greens as they mature because they become quite bitter but we continue feeding our chickens loads till the fall. We'll continue to eat the flowers and roots.

One dish Aki likes to make using the roots is based on one she grew up eating (her mother used burdock instead of dandelion root).

Slice roots and a carrot into thin strips.

Stir fry in a bit of sesame oil. Add soy sauce and a dash of chili pepper to taste.


When bears come out from the high winter hibernation grounds one of their first foods is the dandelion. They get fat eating just dandelion flowers.
We've all heard about dandelion wine.