Last weekend we arrived at my parents house in Sherbrooke Village to a table covered in chanterelles. Outside a chickadee was feeding from my nephew’s hand and a cock pheasant was looking through the kitchen window. Idyllic, I know. The land of the Camerons, the St. Mary’s River, wilderness, and in the fall, chanterelles. They pop up beneath the spruce (exactly where, a secret) and sit, as a tribe, waiting to be harvested – by us, or worms. It’s a race to find them first.
I’m a little fussy when it comes to worm holes (and curious, I suppose) so I put myself on cleaning duty. I use a paper towel to brush off any mossy bits, then I tear them in half and cut away any teeny, tiny, unwanted things. Here there are, fresh from the ground, pre-handling.
That night we ate grilled flat lamb covered in chanterelle sauce. The sauce was one of those all day affairs – caramelized onions, butter, flour, stock, madeira, thyme, a long simmer… and then the chanterelles. The result was, let’s face it, unphotogenic: grilled meat bathed in a brown sauce flecked with gold. So just imagine the taste.