Chamomile Pickled Wild Mushrooms

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A lifted foray...

It’s that time of year again here in the Pacific Northwest and many other parts of the country. And for all of you who know just how important that secret spot is, it’s wild mushroom season. Time to get outside and forage.

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Park the car a mile away, on the other side of the road, facing the other direction, making obvious tracks going the other way. All normal actions. A sustainable foraging expedition, with baskets not buckets. Double back, hide in the ditch, hike three miles, zigzagging the entire way. Crawl on your belly if you have to. It’s always wet and raining during mushroom season. It’s always cold and windy. Hike another half a mile in the wrong direction.

Back to the car to enjoy some full-spectrum cannabis and the warmth of the ride home. The car smells of quality cannabis and the wetness of the forest floor. Our baskets are full of gold. That gold being several pounds of Pacific golden chanterelles, a couple of Cascade chanterelles, and an entire basket of white chanterelles, which just happen to be the mushroom of the year over the past few years.

As a very devout lifelong forager and farm-to-fork driven chef, I rapaciously find myself deep in the woods, searching that dank, dark, forest floor, hunting my favorite prey: the vibrant Pacific golden chanterelle, the Cascade chanterelle, or even the more elusive white chanterelle.

Foraging with a cannabis-induced calmness allows me to repeat the whole clandestine entrance operation in a totally different direction to get out and not be seen. That spot is mine. Adrenaline pumping like a scared spring fawn, covered in mud, cold, drenched and borderline hangry. My thoughts quickly shift to a hot cast-iron skillet, a warm fire, and food from the forest floor to share with family and friends.

Each jar captures the nuances associated with the forest floor, helping to induce the calmness associated with the cannabis, CBD and chamomile pickling.... Hopefully the jars of pickled chanterelles will last until the next wild mushroom season. Isn’t it funny how we yearn for the next season when we can get muddy, cold, wet, and hangry all over again.

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Chamomile Pickled Wild Mushrooms

Prep time: 30 to 45 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Yield: 5 pint jars

Total THC/CBD: 20mg THC / 20mg CBD per jar

Equipment needed: 5-pint jars with lids, large stockpot, canning tongs, canning funnel, very large sauté pan (or use two if needed), measuring cups and spoons, a slotted spoons

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Provisions needed (ingredients):

  • 3 lbs. wild foraged chanterelles (#1 or #2 buttons)

  • 2 cups of rice wine vinegar

  • 1-1/2 cups cider vinegar

  • 1-1/2 cups water

  • 3/4 cups organic cane sugar

  • 3 tbsp local sea salt

  • 1 tsp (+ 1/2 tsp in each jar) whole black peppercorns

  • 1 tsp dry organic thyme leaves

  • 8 fresh organic thyme sprigs (2 per jar)

  • 1 tbsp dry organic chamomile flowers

  • 1 tbsp + 1/2 teaspoon in each jar fennel seeds

  • 5 small dry red chili pepper (1 each jar)

  • 2 tbsp + 1 tsp in each jar dry onion bits

  • 5 pacific madrone leaves or bay leaves (1 in each jar)

  • 1 gram revival CBD water-soluble CBD isolate

  • 10 packets ruby cannabis sugar 10mg thcTHC/10mg CBD (2 in each jar)

How to make it:

- Dry saute all of the mushrooms until they give up their liquid, about 10 to 15 minutes. This step is crucial when pickling chanterelles.

- Once they’ve given up most of their liquid, sauté for four more minutes to dry them out.

- In each jar add two packets ruby sugar, 1 madrone or bay leaf, 1 teaspoon dry onion bits, a dry red chili pepper, 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, 2 fresh thyme sprigs, and 1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorns.

- Add the remaining ingredients to the pan with the mushrooms and bring to a boil.

- Reduce the heat and simmer 5 minutes, turn off the heat, and let rest 5 minutes.

- Fish out the mushrooms with a slotted spoon and pack firmly into each jar, leaving a half-inch headspace.

- Ladle into each jar the cooking liquid, making sure it covers the mushrooms. Wipe the rims of each jar and seal fingertight.

- Process the jars in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes. Remove and let rest for 2 hours. Tighten the rims and put the jars up in your pantry.

* Enjoy these pickled wild chanterelles with cured meats, an artisan cheese board, or on toast with ricotta.

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