Thanks to all of you who contributed mushrooms and time to make this Fungi Fest fun and festive! 120 people attended the event despite the snowy/rainy day and a drive to Sunriver. A big shout out to Sunriver Nature Center, especially Amanda Accamondo, for all the support throughout the planning and the event itself. What a terrific organization.
The mushroom season has been poor this fall and gatherers came from all over, even as far away as the coast, to make sure we had specimens. Most of the mushrooms (90%), however, came from within an hour and a bit of Bend. Another thank your to the Cascade Mycological Society for sharing their mushroom labels. This made naming specimens much easier, but still very challenging without a REAL mycologist on hand. Here are a few photos of our small, but lovely show.
More photos to come.
Plenty of woody polypores and other interesting non-gilled mushrooms
Touch Here Table
Setup crew on a snowy morning
Chip sold all the oyster mushrooms he brought. Lovely pinks!
Intensely creative Susanne found a way to show how morels fruit in a burn by rehydrating last spring’s flush and mounting them in a burn habitat. Genius!
Not all specimens got identified, but common genus types were represented.
With only two large tables, we were able to get most of the mushrooms displayed.
We are excited about our first mushroom show and have been working hard to make it successful. This mushroom season, however, has been a challenge. Though we have found plenty of white Chanterelles, we want to have a full range of fungi for the show. You can help if you are willing to carefully gather a variety of specimens and bring them to me by Friday. Contact Linda at email@example.com.
Some people just can’t stop themselves! And now the “fun” begins!
Motherlode of whites that Audrey harvested today.
Red fire foam coating the forest – is it okay to eat the mushrooms?
Several people have been talking about the safety of mushrooms growing in woods that have been recently sprayed with retardant. If any of you readers have comments or information about this, please post a comment or link.
A mushroom student and chemistry teacher here at the local college sent me this email reply to my question:
From Carol H.
“Wikipedia has a nice descriptive page on the foams that are used in firefighting, both for structural fires and for wildland fires: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firefighting_foam
I probably was overstating concern about the chemicals used in them when we chatted about this last night. I remember having a conversation with some fire science students a few years ago where they mentioned AFFF, which contains fluorinated organic chemicals (fluorine on a carbon backbone). That stuff is mentioned in the Wikipedia article and is a halogenated organic: a member of a family of compounds that raise a little environmental concern in me. There are some bad actors in that group.
BUT I was not correct in making them sound as bad as polychlorinated or polybrominated biphenyls. Those are the bad actors in that family, and are the compounds that are used in flame-retardants used in furniture.
The firefighting foams are mostly water and surfactants (detergents, soaps). The foam helps hold the water to the things that could burn, which makes them better than water alone. It looks like the red color may be from iron in the formula, added to aid visibility.
As far as foraging from places that have recently been foamed, I still probably wouldn’t do it.
Thanks for giving me a reason to look this up!”
A little Sparrasis, some white Chanterelles and some smiles!
Field trip over Santiam Pass where everyone went home with some Chanterelles.
a.k.a. Paxillus atrotomentosus, or just Velvet Foot. This mushroom has been found every frequently lately. Note the fuzzy stem just where it meets the large gills, hence the name.
Thank you, Buddy Mays for the great photos!
Please spread the word about this great event for all of us who live in Central Oregon! October 20-21 at the Sunriver Nature Center. The Fungi Fest show is on Saturday, 10 -2 PM. If you have mushrooms to share with us for the show, please bring them in!
Here are fine photos taken by Buddy Mays. Most all participants found Chanterelles, but very little else was fruiting out there except this lovely Laetiporus sulphureus – Chicken of the Woods.
A beautiful day to be in the woods and a little too early for many mushrooms. Missing three of our hunters for the photo. They were busy picking mushrooms.
“I think you could use it with other kinds of mushrooms. I’m thinking pickled matsatake in rice vinegar with a few chilis. Hmmm.”
The key to these pickles is to dry saute your chanterelles first. You clean your ‘shrooms, cut them into large pieces (leave small mushrooms whole) and put them into a hot frying pan dry. Shake them around as they heat and soon the mushrooms will give up their water. Doing that helps both the flavor of the mushroom and their ability to absorb the vinegar. If you don’t want to can these mushrooms, they will be perfectly fine in the fridge for up to 6 months.
- 1 to 1 1/2 pounds chanterelles or other mushrooms
- 2 cups white wine vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
Get your canning gear ready and a large pot of water hot. Clean your mushrooms of any dirt, mold or wet spots. Cut large ones in half and keep small chanterelles whole.
Dry saute the mushrooms in a large frying pan. When they give up their water, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of salt on them, along with the thyme. Once the chanterelles have given up most of their water, pour over the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Turn the temperature down to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat.
Fish out the mushrooms and pack firmly into jars, leaving at least 1/2 inch headspace. Make sure each jar gets a bay leaf and some peppercorns.
Ladle in the cooking liquid. Make sure it covers the mushrooms. Add more white wine vinegar or distilled vinegar to top off if necessary. Wipe the rims of the jars and seal. Process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.
This is Pholiota aurivella, sometimes called Pholiota limonella, which looks just like this only the spore sizes are different. They grow on conifers around here in the fall and their shiny golden caps can be see from far away as they climb up the tree snags. Pholiotas have brown spores, less rusty colored than Cortinarius species and grow directly out of wood, but can easily confused with Corts due to the disappearing cobwebby veil. This is not edible, just beautiful!