Wednesday, September 17

From berries to mushrooms

If you have been following this blog for awhile, you are aware of my obsession with PICKING things. One of my fondest childhood memories I have of my father is picking dewberries in Texas. Big, black and juicy berries that we turned into cobblers later on. As a result, I am extremely nostalgic when it come to berry picking as an adult. Especially since my father died.

Well, if you like to pick things, Norway is the place for you! I was in AWE when I first moved here.

I remember so clearly the day I discovered my gift. Or as I like to call it, my 'berry eye'.

We were driving down the highway in Norway my first summer here and I suddenly saw tiny bits of red flashing by. Instinctively I knew it was something that could probably be picked. I yelled at Christopher to STOP!!! Why?? he wanted to know. I think I saw some berries, I said!!!!!

There was an awkward silence.

He didn't share my enthusiasm. Apparantly in Norway, they DO NOT stop their cars and pick berries alongside the highway. Well, we do in Texas, and my future husband graciously stopped so I could go and inspect what it was I saw.

I popped out of the car and trotted back to where I spotted the red bits flashing by, and my instinct was correct! There before me were wild raspberries!!!! Now, maybe wild raspberries aren't a big deal to you, but up until that moment, I had never seen them before. I guess I thought they were just born in my local Kroger produce section.

I picked with abandon, and at that moment, I was hooked.

Since that day, my berry eye has grown in strength.

One time up in Lillehammer, I spotted the elusive and somewhat mythological 'cloud' berry from the road. I swore I saw tiny dots of yellow in the field. I don't think anyone in the car really believed that I did, but again, they stopped to humor me. Sure enough, we stumbled into a field of golden cloud berries!

They all respect my gift now.

My berry eye has now started evolving into a mushroom eye. I'm not so good at it yet. My friend Vibeke took to me to the forest a few weeks ago to train me in the ways of mushroom picking. We were after chanterelle mushrooms. She showed me what they looked like and gave very strict instructions NOT to touch anything I didn't recognize! Assured that her friend from Texas understood the rules, we began our mushroom hunt.

I wish I could explain how excited I get about even just the THOUGHT of picking things. The hunting and finding. I literally had butterflies in my stomach as I was walking through the forest scanning the ground for my quarry. I was starting to get discouraged because I wasn't finding any EDIBLE mushrooms. However, the ones that will shut down your kidneys in 28 seconds were EVERYWHERE!

Then suddenly, I stumbled upon these gorgeous, kidney friendly mushrooms:

I had a surge of excitement course through me! They were everywhere!!!! So, I contented myself with hours of happy mushroom picking! This was my take for the day:

That is about 4 POUNDS of Chanterelles! The brown kind.

This past Saturday, we got the dogs and went to the forest again and this time we found some of the beautiful yellow chanterelles:

They look like flowers! But this one, this one set a record:

It is as big as my hand!!!!!

So, those were my picking adventures this week.

It's amazing that something so simple can bring me such JOY.


Lili said...

Andreas Viestad always made it sound like he stopped his...uh, pick wild stuff to eat.

Shell said...

How very cool! I love to go berry picking, and always enjoy it. Besides, they are good for us!