Mushroom Hunting

P9300045.jpgOur friend Paul came over today, and the three of us took a walk out in our woods. We had high hopes that all of the rain we’ve had this year would make for many good edible mushroom, and indeed, that was the case.

Our big finds:

Black Trumpet Mushrooms: We found tons of these. Well, okay, not quite a ton. But there were four or five spots where they seemed to carpet the ground. We tried to note the locations, because in some spots, they were past their prime, but we got a full small brown lunch bag of them. We borrowed a dehydrator from Ginny, because almost everything I’ve read about them says that’s the best way to use them.

Fried Chicken Mushroom

Sweet Teeth: Very yummy. We’ve had these sautéed in the conventional manner. This batch is getting the experimental freeze along with the chanterelles. I hope it works, because the sweet teeth flavor isn’t strong enough to dry and throw into a stew.

White Coral fungus: All the field guides are down on these guys, but Paul said the pure white ones are OK, and we’re here to tell the tale. The flavor is very, very delicate. We had them with eggs and could only taste them because we had a lot of them. I’m not 100% sure I like them. Very sweet mild flavor, kind of like lactose.

Honey Mushrooms: Boy do we have these. There was a ring around every dead maple sapling. Paul warned us however that not everyone likes them, so we only gathered a meal’s worth. We do like them, but didn’t get any more before the frost. So there’s one more meal’s worth in the freezer, and next year we’ll get a bushel of ’em. (Nope, not kidding, we could have had two bushels this year.)

Boletes and Russelas: Many many of these actually. Our woods have red Russelas pretty much any time they don’t have snow. Unfortunately they’ve unappetizing albeit not toxic. But Paul recognized a few of each type that are actually good.

Sparassis crispa, Cauliflower MushroomsCauliflower Mushrooms. We were seeing tons of honey mushrooms, and Paul told us to be on the look-out for these as well, as they often grew in similar conditions. Finally, toward the end of the day, we found a nice collection. Paul took them home, as they are one of his favorites, so we haven’t actually tasted them. I’ve read that they grow in the same spot year after year, so hopefully we’ll get a shot at them next year.

Chanterelles. I remembered where Paul and I had found these before, and sure enough, there were a few there again this time. Not many, but worth gathering. There are almost always a few chanterelles when we go mushrooming, but almost always just a few. This batch is in the freezer as an experiment to see if we can accumulate them. If the answer is no, we’ll have to dry them. Supposedly dried chanterelles are similar to black trumpets except that you need more of them.

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