Sunday, October 3, 2010

Field Mushrooms, Pieczarki

We've had several days of heavy rain and cool temperatures.  Today was a beautiful day with the definite feel of very early fall.  I walked behind the house to feel the fresh air and spotted a couple field mushrooms.  We usually find a couple in early fall but this time I kept finding more and more.  I didn't even have my apron on to gather them up in so I balanced as many as I could on one hand but had to give up and go for the basket--and a knife.
We always gathered these mushrooms when I was young and always heard the stories of the beautiful mushrooms that Mama and her sisters gathered in the woods in Poland.  They were of all colors and would look so pretty in a pan together she would tell me.  She didn't know the wild mushrooms here so these were the only ones we gathered.  The Polish name for these is pieczarki.  We had a black iron wood stove in our kitchen at that time and we liked to lay a couple mushrooms right on the stove itself and let them sizzle with a little salt sprinkled on top and ate them right off the stove.  Mostly, Mama fried them gently in butter and added a little flour, cooked a little more, and then poured in some light cream to make the best mushroom sauce.  The only seasonings she used were salt and pepper. 

Since they have soil and grass over their caps, we just peeled the thin skin off each one. 

I sliced them and prepared them just like my mother did.  These mushrooms are more delicate than the cultivated ones in the grocery store and have a little deeper flavor.  If they were from the store I might add onion or thyme, but I want these plain with just a little thickened cream and salt and pepper and I'm having them over plain bread, toasted.
  The only thing I wanted with this fall lunch was an icy cold glass of fresh, sweet apple cider from the farmer's market.  

Note:  There are white wild mushrooms that are quite poisonous--don't even taste a mushroom that you don't know for absolutely certain is edible. 


janie said...

This looks so delicious and I love that you went and foraged for them yourself!

Anonymous said...

Creamed wild mushrooms on mouth is watering! Shame the field mushroom season is over here in the UK, although my local store sells other wild mushrooms so might have to make this over the weekend :)