Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Vacation in the Highland Region - Picking Mushrooms

In our family it is a tradition to spend some weeks (or at least one) somewhere else than at home during summer holidays. To discover new areas, new landmarks and historical sights, different landscapes and sceneries.
The vacation in the Highland region was very relaxing and I enjoyed it even the house we stayed in was very close to the river and because there were lots of horrible floods in our country, the river was quite dirty, very fast and the level of its surface was quite high.

The cottage was in the middle of the woods, so we picked many mushrooms.

Picking mushrooms is something like a national sport in my country. It is one of the most relaxing things I know - walking through the wood and looking for mushrooms. And then enjoying the joy of cooking them, or make them desiccated/dried, store and use them later in the year.

It was a premiere for Smallone, her first mushroom-picking:

"Little mushroom, where are you?"

"Oh, there you are!"
This is Smallone´s first mushroom ever. And it was a gift for her mother of course. The plant/leaf included.
The mushroom-picking can be also very dramatic. For example, when you almost lose your father/Smallone´s grandad in the middle of the thick trees:

... or when Smallone also needed a stick as her grandad had...

...and the stick was too long. Then it was ok, but in Smallone´s hands it became almost a lethal weapon:

My sister: "Oh, look Smallone, on this mushroom there is also a little slug. Isn´t it cute?"
Smallone: (with a frown) "No, Mummy, put it down!"
My sister: "Ok, never mind." (and puts it to the grass)
(Smallone starts to hit the ground and the poor slug with her stick)
My sister: "Don´t..! Ok, it´s late.."
Me: (looking closer and pointing to the grass) "Look Smallone! It´s still alive! Look, it is not threating you. It´s just a very little animal. It does nothing at all! You liked the frog over there, so you shouldn´t mind the slug either."
Smallone: (protecting me with her hand) "No, don´t touch it!" (and starts to hit the ground again)

So we let her believe that she saved us from the little devilish killer slug. Later I came back to realize that the slug survived. It was a very brave and lucky slug.
We picked many mushrooms - some Summer Ceps, hundreds of the Day Boletes and The Red Cracking Boletes.

My step-mother made some meals from them, as typical Czech fry-up dish Smaženice - you cut the mushrooms and some onion to small pieces. First fry the onion pieces, than add the mushroom ones. Add some saraway seeds and you can also add some garlic or water if it is needed. Than steam the whole mixture for a while. At the end add some whisked eggs with salt. Serve the hot dish with a slice of bread. It is very easy and very tasty. But don´t try it with pickled mushrooms, they won´t work.
But I saved some mushrooms to dry them. I cut the mushrooms to thin slices, put them on the paper, and to the dry and warm place, sometimes turned them over and waited...

...till they dried up and could be stored:


Photo Cache said...

am very glad to see you back in blogosphere. hope you enjoyed your loooong break.

Namnet said...

Well, it was too long break. I needed some time to do the things I had to cope with, but I am definitely glad to be back. I missed it all here in the blogosphere!!:-)
And I´ve noticed your new blog. I like it, and must leave comment there soon.