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Saturday, October 5, 2013

How I Spent My Birthday

I know it's been awhile.

Between working 50-60 hours a week and canning, canning, freezing, and canning, and then not having anything to report on my wheat harvest, I've really let the old blog go.

I absolutely have to tell you about today though.

Today I got to do something that I've been wanting to do ever since we got to Oregon in March of 2007.  Today I got to go mushrooming!

I'd planned on spending the day out in the yard cleaning up the vegetable beds and thinning the collards and carrots, but last night at dinner Rae said, "what are you guys doing tomorrow? You wanna go hunt chanterelles?"

Did we ever!

Today was my fifty-fourth birthday, and I got to spend it tromping around in the woods on a beautiful, sunny, warm autumn day with a sharp knife in my hands.  I could not have been happier, I don't think.  I didn't tell Rae it was my birthday because I didn't want her to feel awkward or duty bound about anything. Instead, I got to reap her generosity and time just because she was willing to give it to me.   That is the best kind of gift, I think.

Needless to say, we filled a shopping bag full of chanterelles.  Tonight we had them in a cream sauce with bacon and garlic over pasta, and tomorrow night we'll have them with steak.  Tomorrow I think we're going to dehydrate some of them, but Rae sautes them with butter and garlic and then freezes that.  If you have any ideas, let me know.

In the meantime, the memory of a great day spent out in the woods will probably last a lot longer than the mushrooms themselves.

Thanks Rae.


Miriam said...

What a lovely way to spend your birthday! Way to go Rae!

Oh, I envy you your hoard of chanterelles. I didn't know how tasty they are until recently, when I got to sample Kim's appetizer of chanterelles in a garlic cream sauce on toast at a local restaurant. Oh, yum - I'm salivating just thinking about it. I clearly have to add mushrooming to my list for next fall!

I wish you a year filled with all the things that make your heart glad!

Anonymous said...

Happy belated birthday! What an interesting post - I've never gone mushroom hunting...and the meals sound so delicious. Your industry in your garden always inspire me to do was nice seeing your update this morning. Jill in GA

Rae said...

Damn it Paula. I can't believe you didn't tell me yesterday was your birthday! :) I'm sure glad we found a load of chanterelles... As I would have felt gawdawful if we had been skunked.

So glad you guys had a good time. I had a blast out there with you two, and I'm so very happy you had a fun day. :). Happy happy belated birthday!!!!!

Oh, and you made my eyes well up just a smidge... :)

Paula said...

Thanks Miriam! I still have the annual birthday trip to Powell's City of Books to look forward to. Every year for my birthday we go to Powell's in Portland and I fill up a basket and Steve buys me everything in the basket. In addition to a pasta making book (not the dishes, but the actual pastas) I'm going to add another mushrooming book to the list of what I'm looking for. Woo hoo! Book stores!

Paula said...

Thanks Jill from Georgia! I need to inspire myself some more as well...

Paula said...

Sorry about the Eyes Wellington...but really, thanks for a great day- it truly was a happy birthday....I kind of hope I can make mushrooming on my birthday a regular tradition in addition to the Powell's trip.

Plus, I got my sushi dinner too- that is also tradition.

Wow- if I get to do all three from here on out every darn birthday I get will be a great birthday. Birthday traditions are the best!

Next year we're looking for lobsters and king boletes.

Rae said...

:) And don't forget the elusive sparassis crispa!

And in the spring, we can go morel hunting over in E Oregon. Drooooool.

Paula said...

ooooh yes! num num num....

Maria said...

Happy birthday Paula!!! and yes, that is a brilliant way to spend your birthday. Glad you found loads of chanterelles (thinking of tasty chanterelle recipes now... I think you've got it pretty much nailed with the butter, cream and bacon)

jules said...

Sorry I missed it but...Happy Birthday to you!!!