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Anyone hunting mushrooms?

This is a fabulous year for the boletus mushroom hunter in Colorado. The mushrooms are everywhere!

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  1. Lucky you! Photo shows some of my haul last year. Alas, nothing yet this year.

     
    1. I went on a guided foraging trip with a friend of mine..not in Colorado.... for mushrooms, berries, and all sorts of ediable things...then we had a dinner for 14 people with it..

      1 Reply
      1. re: girloftheworld

        Your parents are the bomb. They really let you try on a whole host of hats. You are one lucky girl getting to try so many things so young. (Just a bit green with envy)

      2. Sadly, no. I don't trust my skills at all.

        1. This week has been good to me in central Ontario. I found Lactarius deliciosus (the latin name says it all) and chantarelles. Yummy!

          1. Waiting for the boletes to start. Very dry the last few weeks so I think they'll begin to pop if there's some rain. Central ontario.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Nyleve

              Alas, not since my Russian-born wife passed away. I'm good at spotting them in the woods, but would never touch one unless she checked it out first and gave it her seal of approval.

              On my own I might pick some chanterelles if I found them (they're pretty obvious), but wouldn't trust myself to identify anything else.

            2. Porcinis are up! Picked a great basket the other day and will go back out tomorrow. Ate some, dried, some, gave some away. LOVE this time of year!

               
               
              7 Replies
              1. re: Nyleve

                fabulous. I can smell them...yummmmm

                1. re: Nyleve

                  Thank you for sharing! I'm jealous, but I also think you might be in my neighborhood, which just means I need to get myself out there with the kids and start looking. What species of trees are those in the picture? Pine, spruce? I'm hoping the giant puffballs are coming soon, none last weekend.

                  1. re: earthygoat

                    The porcini boletes live under spruce, almost exclusively it seems. So the trees in the foreground are spruce, beyond it are pine where the mushrooms stop. I checked again yesterday and nothing new was up so ill wait a couple of days and look again. But it may actually be getting a bit too cold for them so...well...maybe it's just a short season. I am in central ontario, not far from Peterborough.

                    In a good year, I pick as many as I can and cook them fresh until we can't stand them anymore. Then I dry the rest. But I have recently seen whole frozen porcini in stores, so if I happen to get an overload I may try freezing some. Has anyone tried that? It doesn't look as they are cooked in any way before freezing..

                    1. re: Nyleve

                      We used to pick around Haliburton.
                      Freezing fresh mushrooms doesn't work IMO. I've tried it a few times but the results are always a mushy gooy mesh. Too much water in them. The fresh of a mushroom is so delicate when the ice crystals form the fresh at the cellular level basically explodes.
                      We dry the chanterelles whole VERy slowly until they are like leather than chop them up in a food processor until they are the size of little peas then into Zip Locks then into the cupboard. When I want to add them to a stock etc just a pinch is enough b/c the flavor is so intense. No need to rehydrate them b/c they are so small. They absorb the other flavors beautifully.

                      1. re: Puffin3

                        You see - this is what I always thought. I have frozen mushrooms that were sautéed, but they are somewhat slimy and have to be re-sautéed before using them if you prefer your food not to have to texture of a dead slug. But what's up with the bags of frozen porcini? Has anyone used them successfully? They have obviously just been frozen without any processing whatsoever. I guess I will just have to experiment and see how it goes.

                      2. re: Nyleve

                        I'm east of Peterborough and always have a ton of slippery jacks on my property under spruce and balsam firs. I'm not very fond of them and always hope to come across a decent stash of porcinis instead. I'm still hoping. Morels on the other hand....

                        1. re: earthygoat

                          I've seen a ton of slippery jacks but I'm not crazy about them either. I only know one place for porcinis - on a friend's property. I pick as many as I can find, leave some for her and split the ones I dry with her at the end of the season. But morels...I've never found a reliable place for those. Ah well, each to her own mushroom.

                  2. My local gun dealer is fresh outta mushroom shot.

                    12 Replies
                    1. re: Perilagu Khan

                      After a day or two this is still one of the funniest posts on CH.

                      1. re: Tripeler

                        By the way, PK, your gun shop get in any more o'dat mushroom shot?

                        1. re: Tripeler

                          Naw. But they do have asparagus shot, and it works almost as well.

                          1. re: Perilagu Khan

                            It's critical that you also have a backup shooter, in case an enraged chanterelle charges from cover.

                            1. re: kaleokahu

                              Don't I know it!

                              And woe betide the poor hunter who gets Shanghaied by a coven of lurking shiitake.

                              1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                My goodness - you'd have to be quite the crackerjack to hit a wild asparagus spear! Those guys are really wily.

                                1. re: Nyleve

                                  Especially now that we are in the Age of Asparagus.

                                    1. re: Tripeler

                                      If you flip it over, you can play "Let the Jack-O-Lantern In"

                                        1. re: Nyleve

                                          Poor Nyleve just hacked up a tuber.

                      2. A little early here in Nor Cal. There coming soon.Will check on the secret patches.I know nothing.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: emglow101

                          The weather just changed here on Van. Is.
                          'Mushys' everywhere!
                          We'll dry and 'Zip Lock' enough for the year. We collect about six types but chanterelles are the only ones we dry. The other types are eaten as soon as they come in the door. LOL
                          Lobsters, Angel wings, Chicken of the woods, Hedgehogs, Pine. The slugs always beat us to the boletus.

                        2. Have any of you seen anything like this? Believe it or not, they are growing in my vegetable garden and freaking me out.

                           
                          7 Replies
                          1. re: coll

                            Those are the Stinky ones. I think it's Elegant Stinkhorn (Mutinus elegans), or maybe Stinky Dog Claw or some other type of Stinky. Not edible.

                            1. re: JMF

                              Thanks JMF, I put it on Facebook and a couple of my friends concur. They were so scary looking, like out of a monster movie, but also I touched them and they felt like human skin, just to make it worse.

                              I am glad to say that now, two days later, they are totally gone except for tiny bits of orange laying on the soil, just to prove they were there. I guess they exploded. Oh well, at least now I know for next year.

                              1. re: coll

                                You sure that the mutant in your garden didn't just dig its way out rather than explode?. Freaky.

                                  1. re: coll

                                    Alien fingers. Even creepier that it felt human

                                    1. re: suzigirl

                                      If it was any closer to Halloween, I could have charged admission!

                            2. Hi, primebeef:

                              Rumpimus altricem tenero quae vertice terrae tubera, boletis poma secunda sumus.

                              “We who with our tender heads break through mother-earth are truffles, fruits second to the mushroom.”

                              The Roman poet Martial was not slighting the truffle; he simply had a passion for mushrooms, about which he also commented, “To send someone silver or gold is easy enough, but sending mushrooms is difficult.”

                              Shaggy Manes are about to pop here in WA.

                              Aloha,
                              Kaleo

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: kaleokahu

                                Notice the one 'lobster'. They are everywhere right now! The weather turned rainy and up they come.

                                 
                              2. Had high hopes for this morning because of the rain. But nothing much, really. A couple of porcinis and a handful of orange lactarius. Oh well.

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: Nyleve

                                  Check out areas of 'low pressure'. That's where you'll find them if the mycelium is there.
                                  Rain=low pressure=rain.

                                  1. re: Puffin3

                                    Oh interesting. I've always wondered how they knew when to come up. It's eerie - suddenly, with no warning whatsoever, all the same species of mushroom just pops up overnight. And not just in one spot - they'll be spread over my entire picking area of several acres. I got the creepy feeling that they were communicating with each other.

                                    1. re: Nyleve

                                      Yesterday we went looking for the elusive Lake Cowichan 'lobsters'. Look at the size of them! They're in the food dehydrator now.
                                      Chanterelles everywhere.

                                       
                                        1. re: Nyleve

                                          Can see why they call them "lobsters", amazing. Wish I had the smarts to do this kind of thing. So far it's rose hips and beach plums for me.

                                2. Anyone in San Diego or Paris want to help me ? :) looks like such a fun and rewarding hobby but I don't trust myself.

                                  8 Replies
                                  1. re: youareabunny

                                    there's lot of mushrooms that are 'edible' but only a few that are 'choice' and of those only about four/five are pretty much impossible to misidentify. If you're after chanterelles for instance go buy a couple of pounds and spend some time actually looking at them. Take some along when you go out looking for them and compare. Pretty hard to mistake them.
                                    Get with someone with a LOT of first hand experience. If they are still alive you're half way there.
                                    The problem with 'pickers' who always productive is they have their own special places and they are VERY reluctant to show any one else.
                                    I have a relative who's always asking me to take her mushroom picking but I know if I take her to some of my sights she'll be sure to tell her latest boyfriend. No way. It took me years to find sights I know I can go to and always score.

                                    1. re: Puffin3

                                      It's the same around here with beach plums and wild cranberries!

                                      1. re: Puffin3

                                        What I do in these cases is to take them to sites that I'm looking to scout -- good prospects that are unknown quantities. It's a win-win.

                                        1. re: seattle_lee

                                          I only go mushroom picking alone or with my husband. And I am otherwise a very generous person. I'd rather give a friend a bag of mushrooms than take them picking with me.

                                      2. re: youareabunny

                                        Go on some outings with your local mycology society

                                        San Diego
                                        http://www.sdmyco.org/

                                        1. re: JMF

                                          Thanks for the link. I did my own search and most the stuff I found were about the hallucinogenic variety >.<

                                          1. re: youareabunny

                                            I haven't been on a mushroom walk in several years. But my local society has the last three for the year lined up in the next two weeks and I'm going to go with them.

                                            1. re: JMF

                                              So no luck for me in December probably! Well enjoy and please let me know how it went.

                                      3. Yesterday! I'm on my second batch in the dehydrator and will be making something porcini-intensive tonight for dinner. Second photo is a whole cap which I grilled last night. Any suggestions for tonight's meal?

                                         
                                         
                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: Nyleve

                                          Thick sliced. Gently sautéed without any liquid to drive off any moisture. Then some clarified butter and light cream. Bring to a quick boil. Remove from heat. A small grind of nutmeg and some fresh squeezed lemon juice to finish.
                                          Been cooking with wild mushrooms for decades. IMO the number one mistake......apart from not sweating them first is to add herbs.......any herb. Especially with boletus. They have such a delicate flavor literally any flavor added will completely compromise their flavor. Just saying.
                                          Tomorrow my daughter and I will go again to add to our yearly supply of chanterelles and lobsters.

                                          1. re: Puffin3

                                            I made a mushroom ragu to serve over polenta for dinner last night. It was delicious, but the sauce did somewhat overwhelm the flavour of the boletes. I was driven to make that dish to try and replicate something similar I had in northern Italy, but the truth is it wasn't really the same. Delicious, though - made with both fresh porcini and dried from a previous years crop. If I make it again I'll cut waaaaay back on the tomato.

                                            Going to check the patch tomorrow morning. It's getting late in the season but You never know.

                                        2. Just one last (probably) mushroom porn shot from last week. I now have a whole bucket full of dried porcinis for the winter. For scale - please note small mushroom knife in the basket.

                                           
                                          10 Replies
                                          1. re: Nyleve

                                            Oh how I wish I had someone to show me the ways.....

                                            1. re: coll

                                              You need someone to show you the ways AND the places. Mushrooms are cagey little critters and even when you know what you're looking for, you may not find them if you're not looking in the right spots.

                                                1. re: JMF

                                                  Thank you so much, I am saving this. I am on the east end, not far from the pine barrens. My problem is my husband is in a wheelchair and I can't leave him, so this might only be a dream; I doubt the trails are accessible. But these sites at least give me an idea, and a dream, no matter how subliminal. I am so fascinated.

                                                1. re: Puffin3

                                                  Wipe clean or even rinse to remove dirt and stuff, then slice about 1/8-inch thick. I use a dehydrator - a garage sale cheapie - that dries them to perfection in about 12 hours. It has a fan that speeds up the process.

                                                  1. re: Nyleve

                                                    That's the same way I dry them. Then I 'pulse' them in the food processor just for a second or so to chop them up into pieces about the size of a lima bean then into Zip locks and into the freezer.
                                                    We are headed out this morning to our favorite spots to see if any more have popped up. We had a couple of days of low pressure but no freezing temp and no heavy rain so conditions are looking good for maybe the final score of the year. Fingers crossed.
                                                    Some years when the picking is especially good I dry enough to give as Christmas gifts from 'Santa' to the kids.

                                                    1. re: Puffin3

                                                      Ugh. Now you're making me think I should go out this morning but it's raining and I'm crazy busy so maybe will wait until afternoon.

                                                      On another mushroom subject, I used to pick these small grey ones known in Ontario as pine mushrooms. Botanically I think they're either tricholoma myomyces or tricholoma terreum. They come up in enormous numbers very late in the season, starting about now. I learned about them from a woman who picks them commercially for restaurants. They're delicious once you've cooked all the water off, but they don't agree with everyone (digestively speaking) and my husband can't eat them at all. So I've stopped picking them, but it's killing me because they're all over the place. Do you know these mushrooms? I don't know anyone else who uses them.

                                                      1. re: Nyleve

                                                        Here on the BC coast we have T. magnivelares. Very choice.
                                                        I'd be very cautious about eating what you are referring to as 'pine mushrooms'. There are a LOT of mushrooms in the Tricholoma genus and some of them are definitely poisonous and even experts can't easily identify which ones are edible except by taking spores prints and even then it's a risky business. The person who's selling them commercially to restaurants better know what she's doing.
                                                        IMO it's never worth getting sick from mushroom poisoning. Go for the 100% guaranteed choice varieties like boletus and chanterelles and lobsters and morels.

                                                        1. re: Puffin3

                                                          Oh I totally agree. I picked and ate them cautiously after going out with this mushroom picker. But when I read about it, the species is almost never recommended because of the potential for confusion. I frankly don't know how she dares to sell them, nor how the restaurants dare to serve them. I am sure I had only the right kind of mushrooms, but even so, some friends reported unpleasant after effects and my husband becomes pretty violently ill from them. It's a puzzle. I'm leaving them alone.