This Sunday has been very different from last Sunday. I’ve been taking it very easy, not even leaving the flat. Last week however, I was back home in Sweden for the bank holiday. Mushroom picking is a perfect Sunday activity, so my mother and I drove out to get some chanterelles.
We’ve been in this forest before, but we’ve never found that many mushrooms, especially not chanterelles, which are such a delicacy that they’re labelled ‘the gold of the forest’. They’re mindblowingly expensive if you go to the store, but out in Mother Nature they don’t cost a penny.
Everything comes with a price, of course.
We were picking away, both chanterelles and blueberries and our baskets got heavier and heavier. It was definitely time for a coffee break, so we made our way back to the car. Or so we thought. We confidently walked in one direction – the wrong direction – and got lost for 3 hours trying to find our way back.
It was terrifying. Getting lost in the forest back home might mean you have to spend the night there. It might mean you never return! After aimlessly walking around, feeling even more lost than before thanks to a faulty GPS, we called my uncle. My uncle, who couldn’t exactly figure out where we were, called the police and we were shortly told the dog patrol was on stand-by.
Oh, the humiliation, who wants to be fetched by the police? And what a story for the local papers: “Inexperienced mushroom pickers saved by the hero German Shepherd, Barney”. Luckily, after squeezing past spruce trees, pine trees, birch trees and ferns, we finally found a grass-covered path and 20 minutes later we were re-united with our car.
I can tell you that that cup of coffee and carrot cake I ate when we got back to “safety” again, were on par with a Michelin meal. The chanterelles and blueberries, which we ate later that evening were also quite satisfying. Actually, they were bloody amazing.
Next time we go out, we’ll bring a compass and a fully charged mobile. You learn something every day…