Monday, 25 August 2014

Nature's Larder

Last week, a group of friends were out foraging in the nearby wooded area.
As the weather was quite bad, I decided to forego this little adventure and prepared lunch for them instead.
They didn't come home empty-handed; each of them had a huge stash of porcini mushrooms enough to last them forever!

Thanks Azah and Nadia for our basketful of porcini

To clean the mushroom, simply scrape any dirt you may find off the stalks and wipe the mushrooms clean with a damp cloth

To prepare mushrooms for drying:
Slice them into 1⁄4–⁄2inch thick slices. 
Arrange on trays, making sure they don’t overlap. 

Place in the oven on the lowest setting 30–40°C for 24 hours. 
Leave the oven door slightly ajar

To air-dry the mushrooms, leave the trays above a stove radiator, boiler, Aga or warm airing cupboard overnight.

The mushrooms are ready when they have shrunk to at least half their original size, but are still pliable. 
Remove from the oven and leave on the trays until they are completely cold.

Put in glass containers. 
Add a few grains of rice, if you wish, as an extra precaution to help keep the mushrooms dry. 
Store in a cool, dark place. 
If properly dried, they will keep for 9–12 months.

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