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(post, Maggie Restivo)
The beat of feet, that over crowded feeling, bright green everywhere and flashes of orange. Definitely my kind of club. Now if only it didn't mean getting up at 6 a.m. on a Friday morning to go! In July I went on my first excursion with the Out Door Culinary Club. The event was Chanterelle mushroom hunting. Prior to the outing all I knew about chanterelle mushrooms was that they are orange. I was really excited about the whole experience though. I was most surprised about the fact that you do not need any kind of license or certification to hunt for, or even sell mushrooms! I guess the higher ups have decided that the repercussions of hunting for, eating or selling mushrooms, when you don't know what you are doing, is enough to keep anyone who does not have a clue out of the woods. So on the day of the foray I woke up at 6 a.m., and put on my hiking gear. I met up with the chef in charge of the club, one other student, and a guide. We then drove to some remote part of a state park and pulled off along the side of the road. Now, and maybe this is the girl in me, but I was expecting some form of a trail to follow. Needless to say we blazed our own trail. Our guide knew where he was going but for the rest of us it felt like wandering aimlessly through the woods. Finally, after 45 minutes of wandering, no treasure map with X marking the spot, we found our X. I felt unworthy to handle our new found treasure. As the chanterelle was handed to me a beautifully peppery, fruity aroma filled my nose. After that, we had a better idea of what we were looking for and we were on a roll. In about 6 hours (spread out over 2 Fridays) we found 7 1/2 pounds of chanterelle mushrooms. Back at school we took over the garde mange kitchen and prepared a veal roast with a chanterelle cream sauce, sauted patti pan squash and chanterelles, and a savory chanterelle custard. (I will be adding the savory custard recipe to my page as soon as finals are finished) I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to do something like this. What an amazing experience to find, clean, prepare, cook, eat, and share an ingredient like that. I cannot wait to see what other adventures await me at school!!