Secret mushroom places

Carpe Diem. Carpe Tallinn. Secret mushroom places.

In Estonia, the tradition in late summer to head to the mushroom forest has been preserved. Every person has the right to pick mushrooms in the forest, and everyone has his or her tricks for the preservation of the mushrooms. Few have the heart to share their secret mushroom places as they leave with brimming baskets. With others - this knowledge is passed on only to the best of friends. For our human resource manager Maret Kaldmaa, these friends are you, our dear guests.

 Places where I as a child went to pick mushrooms with my parents, were along Peterburi road, around Kuusalu and Loksa, and Lahemaa National Park, and by Piibe road. We went mainly pine to forests, and there we found our favorite mushrooms, Rufous Milkcaps. Places must be chosen according to where there is a beautiful forest with high undergrowth, and not too overgrown with chaparral. And, if there has been a decent amount of rain, you will never have to leave the forest with an empty basket.

I also share my recipe for preserves of Rufous Milkcaps, and if you use it, you will be able to enjoy mushrooms throughout the year. As the Rufous Milkcap is a relatively bitter mushroom, you will need first to soak them in cold water for a few hours, or even overnight, the water should be exchanged 3-4 times. Before putting the mushrooms into the marinade, the Rufous Milkcaps must be boiled thoroughly twice, changing the water in between, in order to get rid of their bitter taste. For the marinade, you will need per 1 kg of mushrooms 0.5 liters of water, 1 teaspoon of salt, 2 teaspoons of sugar, 10 grains of black pepper, 5 grains of cloves, 2 bay leaves, 2 big onions, 2 carrots, and add vinegar to taste.

For the marinade, put all the ingredients except vinegar into a saucepan. If the carrot is already more or less soft, add the vinegar, to your own taste. Then put the mushrooms that have been squeezed dry, into the marinade and simmer for another 5-10 minutes. Then put them into the preheated jars and close, so they are airtight.