A golden carpet in the beech forest

Drizzling rain, combined with grey sky and dark rain clouds, is not really very inviting for a walk in the forest. But rumors said that the first chanterelles had been sighted, and such rumors really had to be checked out. Off we went, despite the rain, armed with baskets and knives, to search the nearby beech forest where we had found these delicious mushrooms (Cantharellus cibarius) during earlier years.

As soon as we stepped into the forest, loads of tiny yellow buttons growing on green moss and around the beech trees, announced that chanterelle time had really started.  But collecting these tiny individuals would have been a lot of work, and also a pity since there is always a chance that they may grow much bigger, if the weather permits.

But there, buried by dried beech leaves, a slightly larger individual peaked up and when we removed some of the dry leaves many more large chanterelles became visible. Although we had managed to collect enough for a nice dinner, we wanted to give it a try at another spot too. Maybe there would be more? And of course there were, all over the place, hidden below fallen beech leaves, on green moss polsters, and at the foot of the large beech trees. We worked hard to collect them all, and forgot completely about the rain which had become more and more intense.

To round up, we decided to try one last spot, where we had found chanterelles many times before. And so also this time: a huge carpet of yellow flowers covering the ground extended in front of us! We hardly knew where to start and had no idea how long it would take to collect them all. It took us more than one hour, and when we had finished, our baskets were filled to the top and our clothes were soaking wet.

Back home we weighed our treasures and realized only then that we had collected more than 5 kg of these precious mushrooms. What a great harvest! It had been years since we had found so many in one single day. But now the real work started, cleaning, preparing, cooking and freezing and, of course using them for our evening dinner.  It was midnight before all chanterelles were in our stomachs, in the freezer and in jars.

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