It's mushroom season and after a day's mushroom foraging in Oberon, I wanted to make something delicious with these striking saffron milk cap mushrooms. These beautiful mushrooms are a bright orange in colour and lend themselves to creamy flavours and garlic. Enter this tart with a parmesan cheese crust, sauteed saffron milk cap mushrooms and a creamy almost custardy cheese centre!
Saffron milk cap mushrooms (or lactarius deliciosus) can be hard to find and I don't think you'll get these at a supermarket. But I have found these at the green grocers on occasion and now is the season for them. Or you can forage for them too but please do so with a guide on your first time and read these tips too.
These gorgeous mushrooms need to be treated very gently. We were warned that they bruised easily but we didn't realise exactly how easily bruised they are. If you even so much as touch the gills on the underside of the mushroom, they will develop a bruise that tastes fine but is visually unappealing as it looks like rampant mold. We were lucky that we picked a lot of them because I wanted to make something that showed off the beauty of these Autumnal gems without them looking bruised.
Speaking of bruises and injuries I had to rough it a bit while I was away. I was travelling with Ivy and we were booked into a place that was a bit alarming for me. It was a caravan and tourist park. I did ask if there was anywhere else we could stay but I was told that that was the best location for us. I figured it was for one night so how bad could it be?
When Ivy and I arrived, we both stared at our accommodation with open mouths. Yes we are city girls and no we don't camp but this was grim at best. We both agreed that it looked like a movie set where a sex worker takes her clients and is then murdered in the night by a guy in a ski mask along with a bunch of hapless teens. Ivy quickly dubbed them "murder cabins". "I'll meet you outside your murder cabin," we'd say to each other because there was no internet and we were the only ones staying in this deserted section of the park.
The cabins were also dirty and the floor felt gritty and unclean as I walked on it barefoot so I quickly donned my thongs. I got another bad feeling when I saw that they asked the guests to clean and put away all the crockery and cutlery which I don't like because I don't know how well people clean things and quite frankly I don't trust that system at all.
Feeling icky but wanting to stay focused on my work I sat down on the bed to do some writing and then I felt a bite. Then another and then it felt like at least 20 creatures were biting me. I jumped in the shower quickly hoping that whatever was biting me would quickly dislodge. I examined myself and saw that I was covered in about 40 bites on my legs and arms. But the worst was yet to come. Sometimes people react straight away to bed bugs, other times the real reaction comes 9 days later.
And as if by clockwork 9 days later the bites swelled and became excruciatingly itchy and bright red. All I thought about was scratching them. It got so bad that I had to pop antihistamines to avoid scratching myself to death. And that Dear Reader, is what convinced me that nature is fine at a distance but nothing beats a lovely, clean hotel suite and perhaps someone to forage for mushrooms for you!
So tell me Dear Reader, have you ever been bitten by bed bugs? And would you trust a place that asked guests to clean up? Have you ever tried saffron milk cap mushrooms?