A few days ago we dropped in to see a friend in the village, wish him a happy birthday, and give him a small gift. Once all the good wishes were out of the way, we noticed that he seemed particularly happy — and he’s generally a happy guy to begin with it.
Then my wife Jan spotted the source of his special happiness. Sitting on the kitchen counter was a large wooden box that was loaded with huge cèpe mushrooms. You may know them as porcini or, if you happen to be immersed in the world of mushroom-picking, as Boletus edulis. This is the edible fungus that’s been called “the King of Wild Mushrooms.”
Our friend explained that he had spent the morning mushroom-hunting in a forest in the Lot, a département adjoining the Dordogne, and was delighted with his haul. Then he reached into the box and pulled out three large mushrooms as a gift to us.
We were delighted, of course. But after I took a second look at the three gems, I decided that the gift was simply too much mushroom for the two of us, and gave back two of them. But the one we kept was a beauty, and here it is (placed near a wine bottle, just to give you a sense of its size):
It didn’t last long in our house, of course. The next morning, Jan cleaned it off, cut it into slices, and cooked them in butter. Then, with the buttery bits of mushroom, she made a lovely big omelette for our breakfast. Delicious!