dsc_4267 The NATS society holds monthly truffle hunts in Oregon during the season. I've only been on one foray before, to a Doug Fir tree farm in Milwaukee that was bursting with black truffles. This time we met at Dunn forest to look for Oregon White truffles. No one found any.

It was a beautiful day and our truffle hunt consisted of bushwacking at a very leisurely pace for 3 hours. Every so often we would rake up the 'duff' to reveal the 'interface' between soil and mulch where the truffles might be living. Kate was dissapointed to not find a single truffle of any kind. I hardly fared better, finding only about a dozen tiny Barssia Oregonensis'. These are edible, and Matt the trufflemaster suggested either eating them as is or mixing them in a salad. They are quite tasty, a little bitter, with a taste of hazelnuts and fungus.

After the foray we set up a picnic in the parking area, the only sunny spot. I had made walnut bread and we assembled sauteed pear, pesto, and goat cheese sandwiches alongside beets and green tea. It was really nice, but then after we were all packed up and ready to drive back to Portland the car refused to start! I tried jumpstarting it but that did nothing. The battery wasn't low so I think the starter motor just died. I called a towtruck. As we were waiting, feeling quite hopeless, 4 truffle hunters emerged from the forest. Kate asked if any of them were driving back to Portland. How fortuitous! One of them, Mike, lived in NE, so he gave us a lift in his teeny tiny Izuzu p'up! It was a fun drive, and we talked about hiking at Mt. Jefferson, Ecotrust, gardening, high school, traveling, minor addictions...

However, the Jeep is still in Corvallis and I'll need to take the amtrack down there, or go on a bike trip.

[gallery=1]