Julie has set up a meeting this coming week at Rosie Baries Campus, 1010 NW 14th in Bend. We will meet at 6:30 PM. We plan to explore the tool, Matchmaker – Pacific Northwest Mushrooms online, a way to figure out getting your unknown mushroom to genus, at least. We will try the flash drive talk again, so bring your digital photos and stories of your season. See you there.
Carey called to say he and his family found almost 3 gallons of large Hedgehogs (4″ diameter) earllier this week over the other side of the pass, maybe 2000 feet. Some chanterelles, but thin stemmed. I realize that right now that the pass is very snowy, but if you have to make the trip over, things are still fruiting out there in the lower elevations.
The “woolly chanterelle” or Gomphus floccosus is a common look-alike for our yellow chanterelle. Unfortunately, it is considered “not recommended.” It looks like a chanterelle underneath the funnel cap, with veins running down the stem, but the vein-like structures on a yellow chanterelle are much more raised, almost blade-like. This is hard for beginners to see at first. Unlike the true chanterelle, the cap is deeply funneled and with large
‘woolly” pieces of scale all over the funnel cap. Thank goodness the wooly chanterelle is not toxic to most folks. Some eat it with no problem, and, in fact, it is sold in Mexican markets as an edible. Our new fungal friend James says they tasted great with mahi mahi and no side effects. With all the strange mushrooms we have been eating lately, I don’t doubt what he says. Still, I won’t collect them for the table. I am sure they aren’t near as tasty as the true chanterelles. Comments?
Lawrence sent me the perfect photo for Halloween. I call it the Skeleton Mushroom. Spooky looking and strange, so cool to find. A pile of Helvellas were stacked on the display table at the Eugene mushroom show, mainly the gray-headed Helvella lacunosa. Only a few were these beautiful white crispas.
At the Mt. Pisgah Mushroom Show, three different mushroom experts talked about this fungus as being delicious. I have found it, but rarely. These folks extolled it’s virtues, likening it to abalone when simmered slowly. David Arora cooked this for the mushroom staff in Eugene in previous years. With our success at eating and liking Hawk’s Wing (see other postings,) this similar mushroom seems worth a try. If I ever find it again, I will definitely cook it up.
When I arrived home, an email from Randy and Margie awaited me. Yes, they had just found a strange mushroom and wanted it identified. What a coincidence! It’s Albatrellus ellisii! Strange it is. The large tuffted wooly, hoof-shaped cap, large pores underneath, short, fat stem, green staining spots, tough texture and growth in clusters on the ground, makes it unattractive for eating. It looks like nothing else I have ever seen except itself, so beginners should be able to identify this easily if you can find it in your book.
Arora says to cook it slowly so it doesn’t get tough. Cleaning and cutting it in thin bite-sized pieces, I simmered it in a little butter on low heat. When its juices came out (not much) I cooked it covered until dry, then added a little more water to keep simmering it for a least 1/2 hour. Tasty. Chewy. Good. I can see how it must be similar to abalone with it’s meaty chew.
This fall I have eaten Hawk’s wing (Sarcodon imbricatus) Beefsteak mushroom (Fistulina hepatica,) and now Greening Goat’s Foot (Albatrellus ellisii.) All three are meaty, chewy mushrooms with good flavor. All need to be cooked 20+ minutes slowly. I am amazed at the pleasant taste of these polypore-type, tough-fleshed, mushrooms. I think that the Hawk’s wing is the best of the three, but I could change my mind. The more Goat’s Foot I eat, the more I like it, especially with chicken!
Thank you Randy and Margie for the specimen and photos. Perfect timing.
We ate our first Amanita today, Amanita calyptrada, Casear’s mushroom. My friend Dale (thank you Dale) brought it over the house to share after buying it from a vendor at the Eugene mushroom show yesterday. I talked with the man at the vendor booth who found it (and several more) and he seemed very knowledgable about Amanitas. It fit the book and online descriptions perfecty. I cooked it thoroughly in butter and the three of us munched it down, enjoying every bite. It is very good, great texture, but not outstanding in flavor. Fine good eating but not outstanding.
I was a bit nervous about eating an Amanita, but I did my research yet one more time again. I really believe we can learn to tell the poisonous Amanitas from the edible with CAREFUL identification. Other mycologists I know eat this regularly, so why not try. It is a milestone for Ron and I, however. A little excitement in our life.
Have any of you eaten Amanitas before?
We are heading out to Eugene to hear some jazz (my son’s the druumer) and to take part in the Mt. Pisgah Mushroom Festival on Sunday, noon to 5 PM. This mushroom show is one of the best in the NW, with many tables of mushrooms identified to species with edibility labels. There is live music, a children’s area, incredible mushroom soup to try, mushroom books for sale, native plants for sale, wine tastings, scarecrow contest, etc! All wonderful fun and very educational. For directions and more info check the website below
It was a beautiful weekend for the Yachats Mushroom Festival! A smaller but enthusiastic crowd attended the talks and the 27 mushroom walks. It is hard to stay inside to listen when the sun is shining at the coast!
I saw my first Fistulina hepatica (Beefsteak mushroom) on the identification table. The next day my fun fungi friend, Joanne (pictured here with an Oyster mushroom hat) found a couple specimens fruiting on a chinquapin tree! So bizarre looking with a thick deep- red glutinous layer. I scraped off the slime and we took them all the way back home to Bend. We haven’t eaten them yet, but maybe tomorrow. Stay tuned on how they taste!
The King boletes were supposedly fruiting in record numbers in the dunes area, so we headed that direction. We each found a few, but not rolling in them. On the way back to the car, we discovered why. Two different parties stopped us (both with European accents) and marveled at our baskets with the large older Kings in tow. They, too, had Kings we had missed on the trail. So many people have discovered Porcini at the coast now. We need to find a spot away from the crowds! What am I doing telling people about the delights of mushroom hunting?!!
Julie H. has offered to lead a group of mushroom hunters this Sunday to find wonderful edibles. If interested, meet her at the JC Penny’s parking lot (furthest west as possible) at 10 am. Bring your books, too.