VirginiaKnapper
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VirginiaKnapper
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September 13th, 2018, 8:47 pm #61

I'lll be sure to find that book! I have been finding a good number of cinnamon chanterelles around my place, and I don't want to harvest them without knowing what I'll do with them. Thanks Keith.
"It's about what you learn, not what you make" - Erret Callahan
"Nothing like busting out a Savannah River out of some gnarly shit." - Robert Godshall, 1st annual ThunderRidge knap in.
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Forager
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September 14th, 2018, 1:38 am #62

A basic approach which has worked with virtually every wild mushroom I've eaten is to simply heat a pan with some butter or olive oil, toss the chopped mushrooms in the oil to coat them over medium-high heat with just a little salt and pepper.  Do not overcrowd the pan or they will steam or simmer when they release their moisture, which will toughen them and diminish the flavor; you'll appreciate the scent of them cooking but it's at the expense of flavor and texture.

If a significant volume of moisture is released (and this would happen in the first couple of minutes) you can crowd the mushrooms to one side of the pan and tip it slightly so that the liquid pools in the opposite end.  The low end can be centered over the flame until it reduces down and all can be mixed on level ground.

Keep shuffling and turning them in the pan so that they cook evenly.  Herbs may also be added, such as thyme, rosemary or tarragon but with a light touch.  Once the mushrooms have taken on a golden color, they are fine as is.  Take care not to overcook them.

To this elementary method you may first saute onions, leeks or shallots [if you desire, a small amount of garlic may be crushed and chopped, and/or a modest chunk of ginger root might be grated - either or both may be mixed with the onions before they hit the pan so that they cook together] and when they are more or less done, set them aside in a bowl.  Proceed with the basic method for mushrooms and during the final moments of their cooking add the still-warm onions, etc from the bowl, stirring them all together until you are satisfied that the mushrooms are done (the onions, etc will only sweeten further during those couple of minutes longer). 

If you have the extras, at this time the mushrooms may be removed from the pan and set into a bowl.  Some wine may be added to the pan and reduced over a medium-low flame by at least half its volume or more.  Add the mushrooms, toss it all in the reduction and kill the flame.  Now add a small amount of cream, stirring and shuffling the mix constantly until you see it thicken.  Done.  

Lay this over rice or pasta with vegetables, fold it into an omelet, spoon it over a baked potato or spread it over toast, it will transform good basic food into something extraordinary.
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VirginiaKnapper
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September 14th, 2018, 3:03 am #63

Dang, I'll have to get a note pad, incredible recipe.

Sent from my SM-J327V using Tapatalk

"It's about what you learn, not what you make" - Erret Callahan
"Nothing like busting out a Savannah River out of some gnarly shit." - Robert Godshall, 1st annual ThunderRidge knap in.
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Forager
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September 14th, 2018, 3:07 am #64

Failed to mention the usage context as a sauce for venison.
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September 14th, 2018, 3:49 am #65

Here's a simpler format for the more dense and fleshy mushrooms such as Autumn Oysters and Blewits, Hen of the Woods and Bear's Head Tooth.

Using the gilled mushrooms whole or cut into bite-sized pieces, and vertically slicing the Big Game fungi into 3/4" thicknesses (so that they remain connected to the core), simply paint them in olive oil, dust with fennel, coriander, paprika and s & p (a sprig of rosemary or thyme may be placed among them).  Place under a broiler for 4 or 5 minutes (or until golden and lightly crisping), then turn for the other side to broil to equal effect.  

The slabs of sliced mushrooms will work in a sandwich or burger topping, and will do at least as well in other applications as the appetite leads...

Broiled Hericium (Comb Tooth) -
Broiled Comb Tooth.JPG
The gilled ones provide an excellent side dish or may be tossed into pasta dressed with olive oil, sun-dried tomatos and grated parmesan...

Broiled Oysters with pasta -
Broiled Oysters over Pasta.JPG
However, fact is I most often tend to eat most of these straight from the broiling pan... crispy coats disclose a tender and juicy interior with sealed-in flavor.
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VirginiaKnapper
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September 14th, 2018, 6:57 pm #66

Same, I would like to appreciate the whole taste of the mushrooms themselves before delving into the realm of exquisite recipe first.
"It's about what you learn, not what you make" - Erret Callahan
"Nothing like busting out a Savannah River out of some gnarly shit." - Robert Godshall, 1st annual ThunderRidge knap in.
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Forager
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September 16th, 2018, 2:53 pm #67

From an early morning foray along a wooded slope -

Mid-September Hens.JPG This makes up for the previous sample which did not photograph well.

The slope -
Wooded Slope.JPG Unfortunately I failed to capture images of the beams of low sunlight illuminating the craft of orb-weaver spiders.  Immense silk insect nets suspended between trees, shimmering with the barest breath of a breeze.
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September 19th, 2018, 12:31 am #68

A small group of Jack-O-Lanterns, often mistaken for Chanterels by novice collectors.  In general terms, the easiest give-away (visible from a distance) that they are Jacks is their typical growth pattern in clusters; the Chanterels for which they is mistaken are found singly even when plentiful.

A view of the caps...
Jack-O-Lantern Caps.JPG
...and of the gills:
Jack-O-Lantern Gills.JPG
This circumstance extended the opportunity to observe the green bioluminescence I've read about.  Having tried different approaches numerous times over many years, this time I decided to structure three methods in sequence.  In collecting, I didn't cut them but carved out the soil they rose from, taking as much subsoil area and volume as is represented by the collective stems and caps so that they would remain intact and entire.  First I simply escorted them into a very dark room, waiting for my eyes to adjust while giving them time to 'react' - nothing.  Next I placed them at a distance of one inch below three long fluorescent bulbs and let them soak in bright light for four hours.  Then retreated with them to the dark room, again allowing 'reaction' time - nothing.  Finally in late afternoon I placed them on a table in the yard, permitting natural light and darkness to have their time.  Checked on them at 8 and then 10 PM - nothing.

I am clearly missing something.  It may be that the glowing ones are a subspecies, grow from a particular substrate, or may be a regional variant.  I've previously tried to see this with mixed samples from young to very mature, undisturbed from where they rise, and indoors - all without success.  What I have not failed to see in this toxic mushroom is their beautiful form and vibrant color.
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Forager
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September 19th, 2018, 12:30 pm #69

From this morning's walk, Earthstars.
Earthstars.JPG Similar to Puffers, the spore sac of these inedible mushrooms is at first enclosed within a thick outer rind which splits into rays as the fertile portion expands and matures.  I've seen one form whose basal rays dry in maturity and curl back to the center, depressing the ball holding the ripe spores to press them free through the apical port.
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September 20th, 2018, 3:04 pm #70

The Ringless Honey Mushroom, which has already been shown.  Revisited for the visible deposit of spores the morning after a still night -
Ringless Honeys Spore Deposit.JPG Note the fine white dusting surrounding the group, perhaps most evident on the partly covered Maple leaf.  I've noticed spore deposits accumulated upon underlying caps many times on mature groupings of overlapping mushrooms.  When it is clear that the mushrooms have only just created this scene, it may serve as a natural spore print.
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DuxDawg
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September 20th, 2018, 4:57 pm #71

Another amazing find! Sporing is tough to catch, and even tougher to film. Many thanks for sharing! 
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September 21st, 2018, 12:47 am #72

Another mid-afternoon detour from work permits some additions:

I've collected and shown two cousins within the Stobilomyces genus in comment 30, the Confusing Bolete (S. confusus) and the Old Man of the Woods (S. floccopus) - here is the third, completing representation of the entire genus (only 3 species!) -
Strobilomyces dryophilus.JPG
The stem of Strobilomyces dryophilus is more pale than its cousins with a more visible ring which drapes the stem like a skirt.  The cap margin is noticeably more ragged and the large angular pores slightly descend the stem, appearing much like a reticulum.  Nice to be able to present all three in our thread.

A reprise of the Berkeley's Polypore, a handsome couple of mature examples.  The quarter is for scale -
Mature Berkeley's.JPG Some previous forager took a sample from the one on the left, at center.  It would have been more beautiful intact and the forager far less discouraged at the outrageously bitter flavor and leathery texture, as these are only edible and tender when quite young.

Some Elegant Stinkhorns, only one left standing - 
Elegant Stinkhorns.JPG The extremity is covered in a noxious spore-bearing slime scented of advanced decay which attracts flies - a drip of it may be seen on a couple of leaves at center.  They light upon it and seed new territory if their next landing is on suitable substrate... a clever pioneering strategy.

These are just for their attractive place on a mossy log, I haven't bothered to ID them because I like some to serve the sole function of Beauty -
Brown Brackets.JPG ...here's a Detail - 
Brackets, Detail.JPG
And another reprise, this one a younger sample of the Black Velvet Bolete (previously seen in comment 44).  The bloom on this large youngster is marvelous and the puckered incurved margin promised significant additional expansion, the minute pin-prick-sized pores vouching for its youth - 
Black Velvet Bolete.JPG
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Forager
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September 21st, 2018, 10:53 pm #73

A bit far along in this topic but given the numerous and attractive edible fungi presented here, good sense demands that I include this page from Fischer and Bessette's outstanding Edible Wild Mushrooms of North America   A Field-to-Kitchen Guide:
Ten Commandments.JPG
Hopefully it is sufficiently legible.
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September 23rd, 2018, 4:59 pm #74

From this morning's walk through a dark local woods, some bright and rich colors and interesting forms:

An orange Slime on a Beech leaf -
  Slime on Beech Leaf.JPG

Green Stain Cup Fungus -
Green Stain Cup Fungus.JPG ...no fruiting bodies on this sample but its presence is indicated by the thorough stain produced by the mycelial pigment within decaying Oak.  Only once in over 25 years of frequent encounters have I seen the tiny turquoise cups and they struck me as gems.

Cinnabar Polypores only just erupting -
Cinnabar Red Polypore.JPG

And my principal purpose for this walk, to locate some Bear's Head Tooth -
Bears Head Tooth.JPG I felt fortunate to find one at the perfection of its bloom.  Note the traces of its spore deposit surrounding all but its top like a faint dusting of fine snow.  Even more fortunate to have found another lurking nearby as a mere infant filled with promise -
Bears Head Infant.JPG
Before I left I stopped by the vernal pond which appeared luminous with an algal bloom as I approached from within the dimly lit wood -
Algal Bloom on Vernal Pond.JPG

Edit-  Not sure how the final two images of clustered mushrooms became part of the post, I hadn't included them but there they are.  
Unknown 2.JPG
Unknown 1.JPG
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Forager
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September 23rd, 2018, 8:30 pm #75

Follow up.

I thought a view of the interior would be interesting to any who'd not see a bisected Hericium -
Bisected BHT.JPG
...and the outcome:
Broiled BHT.JPG
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Michael Bootz
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September 24th, 2018, 6:01 am #76

I love photography! So many beautiful mushroom species I've never seen before!
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Forager
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Yesterday, 1:03 am #77

Just this morning I was thinking about how long a thread has been spun about fungi (posted on an ancestral skills discussion board), so I'm glad for your comment Michael.  

Sure, all of this proceeds from the oldest of all primitive skills - Foraging - but the mushrooms reputed to be of importance in prehistory (ie Otzi's cord strung with species associated with tinder and rx) or aboriginal and folk cultures (say, Chaga) have not yet made an appearance.  The references to edible fungi in ethnographic sources are marginal, and harvesting methods or associated tools have scarcely entered our discussion.  Although we have touched on the culinary dimension, the character of our preparations exceeds primitive classification.  

No matter.  The vast majority of us here have deep roots in Nature, and these images and observations provide small yet specific windows into our surroundings.  Further, they offer portraits of some of the finest wild foods known to man regardless of time-depth, and in this context there may be no more direct way to absorb Nature than to eat it.  
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