Yesterday was what mushroom forager's dreams are made of. We found good quantities of old favorites, a special treat we've never tried, and a torrent - yes, a torrent - of precious black trumpets cascading down a creek bank and pooling up against rocks and tree trunks at the bottom.
Clockwise from just-past-noon, above: flame-colored chanterelle (not a true chanterelle, but choice nonetheless, and glowing like sunset in the right light), black trumpies (poor-man's truffles), candy caps (they smell strongly of brown sugar and burnt soy sauce), hedgehogs (surely destined for pizza this week), oysters, trumpies again, and fish milk-caps (Matt's all-time favorite mushroom, for the way it fries up crunchy and golden and elevates his daily omelet to the level of manna-from-heaven).
A day of fall weather in late summer, following our sightlines through the woods, ducking spiderwebs, under brush, back and forth across the creek... letting go of anxiety in order to appreciate pure magic. Getting wet, then watching the rain from the back porch, bundled in wool for the first time in months. Mushrooms for our bellies, and the free, wild sustenance of connecting with the forest, for our hearts.
A good weekend: tomato sauce, dried tomatoes, sour pickles, dilly beans, pesto, tomatillo salsa. And enough time for a hike in the woods, where we picked chanterelles... enough to saute in butter, simmer in cream, and pile atop some polenta.
These few months of summer, when Matt's farmers markets and the garden and life in general are in full swing... they speed by. I treasure the early morning when the light is blue and the city is quiet, and the late evening when it's just the dusk-singing insects and me. In between is a blur.
On baking mornings I stump down the stairs to the bakery in my nightgown to visit the baker. He says things are going well, or things are not turning out so good. There is accounting to be done: for the temperature, the humidity, the variation in batches of flour from the small mill where he buys his flour. The other day, the sunrise aligned with the stars, and we had a happy baker and good light for pictures. And afterward, garlicky eggs with toast.
I recently had the pleasure of designing a postcard for Carlton Farms, a local operation using biodynamic and organic methods to produce pastured poultry and small grains, amongst other things. I'm excited about what they're doing, in part because it's bringing even more new life to a really pretty old farm (which is already home to the wonderful Prospect Street Gardens), but also because Farmer Jennie is just a fun, enthusiastic person.
These are a few of the spots I drew for the card. We ended up swapping the butterflies out for some herbs not pictured, but I think if the chicken had chosen... well, this is probably the way she would have arranged things. Based on her appetite.