Parasol and penny bun mushroom-hunting

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EXODUS 2013

Whenever it rains for a few days in the middle or end of summer, the thought the comes on my mind after the initial “ugh, that’s a bummer”  is “yay, mushrooms!”  I think it’s not just me who gets excited at the possibility of them growing somewhere  but almost the whole country as well.  When it’s mushroom season,  this phenomenon I call the Czech exodus happens all over again.  The Czechs and their overly excited dogs head to the woods to look for these edible fungi.

My husband and I are certified members of this exodus team.  In fact, we abandoned all plans for a quiet weekend at home six days ago when we learned a lot of penny buns or porcini grew in the woods near the family’s summer-house.  We drove two hours from Prague to join our fellow mushroom-hunters in Svatoslav and got rewarded well for our efforts.

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There are several kinds of mushrooms that grow here but we only pick parasols and penny buns.  I love the challenge of finding the latter because they blend so well in the environment while the former are just too pretty to pass up.

PRETTY PARASOL PLUS QUICK DINNER RECIPE:

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This is the first mushroom I found just a few meters from the house.  I don’t eat mushrooms but my husband and the rest of his family do.  They are huge fans of parasols not just because they are pretty but because they mean yummy dinner as well.  Here’s an easy recipe:

  • parasol mushrooms, washed and sliced in half
  • salt
  • eggs
  • flour
  • breadcrumbs
  • oil for frying

Season the mushrooms with salt.  Coat them in this order:  flour, eggs and breadcrumbs.  Fry in oil.  Et voila, dinner is ready!

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THE CUTE BUNS:

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DSC_0219These penny buns are so cute.  It’s also cute how they seem to try to hide from prying eyes and preying fingers.  I don’t know how many people already passed by the one in the first top photo.  I found it just right by the road with its top camouflaging like a dead leaf.  The one right above is probably the cutest.  I probably wouldn’t have seen it if I didn’t sit close to it to rest.

So what to do with them after?  They’re usually sliced thinly then dried to put in the soups later.  Someone I know from school would saute them with other  mushrooms and vegetables adding garlic, onions,  chili and garam masala to the recipe.  I tried it once when she brought some for lunch and it was actually delicious considering my palate isn’t such a fan of these fungi.

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Sliced penny bun or porcini drying in the sun.

There.  Mamka and Tatka now have a year supply of dried mushrooms.  Hopefully next year, it would rain in summer again and the earth will be blessed aplenty once more.  Then these two people below will scour the woods of Svatoslav again, feeling grateful just to be there.

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