|Pine Ring Mushrooms, the epitome of autumn Me|
When I see the first cheap avos being sold next to the road I know that autumn is here and winter is on its way. One of my favorite little autumn reminders is the appearance of Pine Ring mushrooms. Everything about them bellows “AUTUMN!”
|Doing what makes me really happy Mans|
If you take a stroll through a pine forest a few days after the first ‘winter’ rains, you may well find little mounds of pine needles being pushed up by enthusiastic mushrooms wanting to escape. Gently lifting up these nubbins of needles is rather like opening a lucky packet: you may hit the jackpot and find a Pine Ring mushroom or even a Porcini, but beware, because a lethal Death Cap mushroom could be lurking beneath.
|If you've got lots, preserve them Me|
It’s hard to deny that The Porcini is King, but lets not forget to give praises to the delicious Pine Ring. They are robust in every way, especially in flavour. Their stems are tough and need to be chopped up small before they are scattered into the frying pan, or they can be used to make a yummy, burnt-orange-tinted clear stock, which is perfect for a Pine Ring risotto: the color alone is autumn in a bowl.
If you are lucky and end up with so many that you have to carefully balance your basket to stop the cheeky little buggers from tumbling out while you head back to the car, then try cooking them in vinegar, a little water and salt, then preserve them in olive oil with a few herbs and maybe some rinds from the first lemons of the season.
|The stems make an amazing stock Ian Ian|
Remember, when it comes to mushies, if you don’t know what it is, for goodness sake DON’T CHOMP IT.
|Look at those beauties Mans|
Some useful numbers to know:
Tygerberg Poison Clinic – 021 931229
Unitas Poison Centre Johannesburg – 0800111229 (toll-free)
Saint Augustines Hospital Durban – 0800333444 (toll-free)
|Pine Ring risotto, Autumn in a bowl Mans|