My younger brother (age 23) is not a morning person. In October when I was in Poland one morning my mum shouted from downstairs: who’s going mushroom picking? My brother was the first one downstairs, basket and a small knife in this hand, ready to go to the forest.
Another story: A couple of years ago I was having lunch with a bunch of people and someone asked me if it was true that mushroom picking is a national sport in Poland. I laughed and then said he was absolutely right.
I remember my grandfather used to have a knife with a picture of two mushrooms on the handle. He used to say it was a magic knife which would point to the place where mushrooms grew as though it was a magnet. Us kids were over the moon to spot the mushrooms magically detected by the knife.
I find it charming that “grzybobranie” (polish word for an outing to pick mushrooms) is such a thing in Poland. Whole families or retired men on rickety bikes go to their secret places in the local forests to gather mushrooms, then clean and peel them and either dry them for winter, make preserves or cook a delicious sauce or scrambled eggs. I myself don’t have much patience to go mushroom hunting, but it’s so satisfying when I do find a brown little hat poking through the moss.
Anyway, here are the pictures from our mushroom hunting this year:
^^ pretty but not edible
^^ we call those psiaki (free translation: dogs) – neither pretty not edible
^^ hello Mr Beetle
^^ this is what you do not want to see underneath the brown hat. not edible.
^^ that’s what you want to see. edible.
^ the lot we gathered that day. that’s rather poor for a whole morning of gathering however small mushrooms are ideal for preserving as they fit nicely into jars and make for a nice bite-sized treat.
PS. I’m so behind in writing up of all the things from last year, but I’m slowly getting there. Have a good weekend everyone!