Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wild Mushrooms

This autumn, the strangest things have been popping out of the lawn. Something I'd never seen before.


I thought this was a cool mushroom and NO, I did NOT eat it...


...but instead spore-printed it to try to identify it.


I am thinking it is a Slippery Jill (Suillus salmonicolor, also known as Suillus subluteus) from the Bolete family. My books say it's edible but I bet it tastes pretty yucky. It was slimy and left a stain on my fingers. No way was I going to try that! Sometime "edible" doesn't necessarily mean "tasty."


Then I came across a regular fall lawn mushroom: the Shaggy Mane (Coprinus comatus). You are supposed to pick them as fresh as possible when they look like this...


...and not like this, on day two...


...and especially not like this on day three when it's all black and inky. I don't eat these mushrooms and don't recommend them either. They are edible and yes, I tried them once but wasn't mad for them.


Okay now, this IS edible and was given to me by a friend. When he can find them, he picks at least one large Hen of the Woods (Grifola frondosa) every year. This weighed 10 pounds when picked and I got half of it.


It kind of looks like it's made up of feathers, sort of like a hen.


To eat it, you pull it apart, like a caulifower or broccoli and clean each part to make sure there's no dirt in each segment...


...and then put them in the dehydrator to use in soup for another day...


...or fry them up in butter for immediate consumption. Very delicious!

NB. Never, ever eat a mushroom you "think" you've identified as edible! You must be 100% sure. Always best to go mushrooming with an expert. If you don't know anyone like that, just enjoy looking at them!!

6 comments:

Jennifer Pearson Vanier said...

Thanks for all the mushroom fact and lore. Fascinating. We enjoyed the Morels in the spring, right off our lawn!

Marcia said...

Great pix and really important cautionary note! I am glad my sister is a careful "mushroomer"

xxoo SIS

Sarah said...

Amazing pictures and interesting info about mushrooms, Ronna.

You are wise to advise caution in eating wild mushrooms. I remember a kid in my grade school class had to have his stomach pumped because he ate the wrong mushrooms off his lawn. Yikes! I've never forgotten that story...

Elisabeth said...

Love the cut out picture of the mushroom. Very graphic.
Looks yummy too.

Marta said...

Oh, they taste really good, especially as a addition to scrambled eggs or if you marinate them. You just have to take the skin of, which is not a problem, it comes out very easy.

candysimonson said...

I've tried the top one - it's a bolete. You can tell by the hamburger-bun-looking top and spongy bread-look underneath. NO GILLS. They can be yellow or white underneath.

I sliced them and fried in butter. Very tasty, although I wouldn't recommend eating a whole lot of them at once. They also have to be real fresh (before they turn slimy).

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