On Sunday, Feb. 21st we gathered at Linda Houston’s beautiful mountain home within the Fremont Older Preserve. It was pouring down rain, but that wasn’t going to keep a hearty group of Slow Foodies and experienced Fungus Federation of Santa Cruz foragers from hunting for mushrooms in the woods. So, clad in all weather gear, we set out
The rain stopped and within 5 minutes we hit a mushroom bonanza – chanterelles! In addition to these delicacies, we found witches butter, and blewits. The Fungus Federation folks told us that they have never experienced such an abundance of chanterelles on forage.
There were Spring wild flowers in bloom. We saw wood rats nests that are neatly lined with bay leaves to keep insects out, deer tracks, and signs of coyotes. A hawk greeted us when we arrived, and hailed us as we returned. We even had minors lettuce that was discovered to add to our salad.
Freshly sautéed chanterelles were served as an appetizer, along with other wonderful small bites and wine that were generously brought to be shared. As we sipped and ate, stories were swapped about our hike. Linda, ever the gracious hostess, provided us with hearty lasagna featuring hand made sausages from Palo Alto.
She appointed our dining tables with crystal wine glasses, French Haviland China (over 100 yrs old) and Nortitake China (1940’s era) atop vintage linens that have been handed down through the generations in her family. Our diverse group included an Organic Orchard grower, Techies, Naturalists, and enthusiastic Foodies who got to know each other as we broke bread together.
Many thanks and great gratitude is extended from SFSC to Linda Houston and the Fungus Federation of Santa Cruz for making this experience so warm and wonderful. This was a Slow Food experience in its truest expression.