Foraging Frolic with Fringe Food Fest

Foraging Frolic with Fringe Food Fest
3894 Calder Hwy, Harcourt, Victoria, Australia

FORAGING!  For us city dwellers I think I have only heard of this term in the last 5 years.  Whilst I may be expert at looking for food in the city, looking for food in the wilderness is another matter.  Especially mushrooms.  I seemed to like the pretty ones and if no one had told me that this one is in edible I might have put it in my gob:

Anywayz, back to the start.  So we woke up really early in the morning (8am on a weekday IS early!) and drove 1.5hrs to Harcourt to Bress Winery and Cidery.

It was freezing cold so they warm us up with some beautifully prepared and dangerous addictive slices made of chestnut powder, pinenuts and rosemary.  I tried to stop eating too much of those as we do have lunch afterwards but boy I couldn’t resist!  We also got some hot chestnuts to warm our hands while we forage.

And off to the woods we go with Adam from Bress and Matt from Mushroom Anonymous taking us around and making sure that we know what we are picking.  Although with mushrooms, they are such sneaky little things- you might pick a mushroom that looks exactly the same as what you thought was a button mushroom but it turns out that it will make you high, while in the toilet, crapping your pants off.  HRM.

When picking mushies Matt and Adam advises us to use a knife, or at least, try not to pull the roots and everything out when you pick your mushroom.  Important lesson number one: Leave the environment same or better than when you came in.

There was this one time I picked one of those said pretty red mushroom with poisonous dots.  When Adam told me that it was poisonous, I did a girly yelp and dropped it.  Adam sternly taught me lesson number one then: leave the environment same or better than when you came in, and calmly plant the poisonous mushies back onto the ground.  Even though I have plucked it out, it could still release pores if we plant it carefully back in.  This lesson really got me thinking, every little bit counts, what can I do to make the world a better place?  So thank you Adam, for teaching me this valuable lesson.

After foraging and frollicking in the first patch of woods, we seemed to find more pine cones than pine mushrooms, so we decided to drive to our next patch of woods to try our luck.

Finally!  In that patch of wood I found my loot!  Ghost mushrooms!  Apparently they only live in pine forrests that looks a bit ghostly…

A lot of people found those pine mushrooms too so it seems like we are ready for a feast!  YAY!  (OK I wish this is my loot but it’s actually someone else’s 😥 )

We are lucky to have The Commoner cooking a mushroom feast for us today!

Sauteed mushroom with this onion garlic jam thing

These are the ghost mushrooms

Crunchy and creamy mushroom croquettes… MMMMMM

Beef cheeks stew with dried mushrooms and polenta mash… SO YUMMY!

Not too sure how they cooked the potatoes but it has this woody flavour to it.  This potato is a bit waxy- I would prefer creamier potatoes.

OMG this poached pear smelt and tasted DIVINE!  I kept looking to see if there are more of these lying around but alas, everyone ate all of theirs.  😦

Thank you Essjayeff, Adam, Matt and Ollie the dog for such an awesome day foraging (and of course thank you for accommodating city girls like me in your beautiful beautiful forest!).  It was a memorable day and if you are interested in going too, Fringe Food Festival is organising a few more trips in the next couple of weeks!  Don’t worry, there will be some mushrooms for you to pick after we are done- it’s the circle of life.

This frolicking adventure was also blogged by Where’s the Beef?

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