February 7th, 2015
We're a bit late with our first post of 2015, but I think you'll forgive us because it's about another one of our favorite things: Mushroom Foraging. And what a better way to do it than with 25 enthusiastic Wine Club members!
We host this foraging event every year, with the exception of last year, when we had no rain and no mushrooms. The Foray is one of our most popular Wine Club events. Most people who attend want to come back every year. This year was no exception; while our members clamor to attend, every year we manage to include a few newbies.
This year's mushroom season started off well in the autumn with a nice amount of porcinis. Moving into December, when we had substantial rainfall, the hedgehogs and black trumpets starting coming up. Then the new year arrived with a nearly total absence of rain in January, and it seemed as if mushroom season was doomed.
The date of our Foray happened to coincide with the first storm of 2015; predictions called for five inches of rain and wild wind. As the weekend approached, the emails and phone calls began to pour in as many who enrolled questioned whether we would cancel the event. Fortunately, it stormed on Friday and Sunday, leaving Saturday, our foraging day, with a mix of sun and clouds but no rain until 5 pm, when we were all done. This was good luck for all of us who prefer to forage without rain dripping down our backs. We get wet enough as it is hiking through branches and brambles.
After foraging around the hilly property, our group returned to the lodge with tremendous amounts of mushrooms. The day was full of smiling faces with baskets full of black trumpets and hedgehogs. Members also brought back a few random nonedible finds to discuss with David Campbell, our mycological specialist and guide. It was a truly successful day of foraging.
The happy foragers were rewarded with a hearty lunch of wild mushroom lasagna and plenty of Paul Mathew Pinot Noir. This is when tales of the trails are told by foraging friends. There's plenty of discussion of what will happen with the bounty of mushrooms going home with the hunters. Which recipes, who cooks, who picks the wine....
Cheers to all you mushroom finatics and foraging friends, and BIG Thank you to the clean up crew!