|If one has a doubt about one’s “crop” all French pharmacies will tell anyone what is poisonous and what is deliciously edible. Our pharmacist even offers recipes to her clients.|
Everyone I know is complaining.
“It’s an invasion,” they’re saying. “It’s outrageous,” they continue. “There should be a law,” one whined. “It’s not even fun anymore,” another lamented.
They’re complaining about the thousands of “invaders” who have parked their cars along the sides of the roads leading into the Rambouillet forrest.
It’s champignons picking season and, it’s true, never in all the years we have lived surrounded by the forrest have I seen so many cars. One friend claims people are coming from other countries to collect them this year. Because of all the rain over the last few months, it’s not a question of hunting down the various delicious species, it’s more a problem of not tripping over or stepping on them. The forrest floor is covered with them.
Like the dead wood that falls onto the ground, mushrooms are there for everyone to gather, and gather they do, by the kilos. I’ve heard the boasting in shops, “I have more than 50 kilos!” one man proudly proclaimed. A friend of mine said she was planning an all mushroom dinner for friends. Another friend, who in one hour scouting with her husband collected more than 20 kilos, said she dreaded the next step in the process.
“It takes me longer to clean them than it does to pick them — it takes hours,” she said.
Lucky me, I have friends who give us a basket or two every year. We usually keep everything simple, an omelette or as an accompaniment to just about anything when sauteed in a little olive oil and a tiny noisette of butter, salt, pepper and parsley. No garlic, no shallots like some of my friends.
Weather Report: An idyllic autumn day — bright sun, bracing temperatures — perfect champignon picking kind of day.