It's feeling very autumnal these days. The leaves are turning, the blackberries have shrivelled up, and it's getting a bit chilly out. One definite upside is that Chanterelles (the trumpet-shaped wild mushroom seen in the photo above) are abundant around here this time of year. Chanterelles are a rare delicacy in a lot of the country. Where we used to live they were between $18 and $30 per pound in the supermarket if you could get them at all, and were often not very fresh. Not so around here--I'm told that they're all over the island right now, including the Grand Forest. The chanterelles pictured above are available at the T&C market for under $5/pound, which keeps me from stomping around the forest (bum knee and all...) My friend Richard never picks any mushrooms but chanterelles, because he claims that they don't look like any other mushroom, so he's pretty sure they're not poisonous. But still, do please ask a competent mycologist before you eat a wild mushroom you've gathered if you're not completely sure of yourself.
For dinner tonight, Debbie made an old fave to start, Chanterelles with Dried Apricots, Chives, and Shallots on Toast. Soak 1/2c halved dried apricots in 1/2c chicken broth, melt a tablespoon or two of butter, sautee some finely chopped shallots, add cleaned and roughly sliced chanterelles, sautee until somewhat soft, add the apricots and soaking liquid, and cook down until you get a bit of a sauce. Add some chives. Pour the mixture on top of a slice of toast.
The kids wouldn't go near this, which is sad because Stuart was all over this dish when he was around 2, saying "want more chanterelles..." Now he's a teenager, and sneers at it. He did eat the loin of pork with garlic and rosemary, though. Catherine ate toast.