Schrooming

The rainy weather we’ve been having has delayed our fall plantings, but it’s been great for mushrooms.

We took some of the mushrooms we found lately that we hoped were edible to the market yesterday to show to a couple of our friends who are wild mushroom experts–master chef Chris King of King-Cropp Farm and Vernon Pearce of Greenberry Hollow Farm.

Chicken-of-the-woods

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When they saw our chicken-of-the-woods and chanterelles they both lit up with excitement.

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They confirmed what we (read Cherie) thought.  They were both edible delicacies, selling for $16-20/lb.  Of course we weren’t planning to sell them.  We did trade some of the chicken-of-the-woods for a couple of oyster mushroom logs and some kombucha, but we kept most for ourselves.  As soon as we got home Cherie sauteed the chanterelles. Delicious.

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We had some of the chicken-of-the-woods for supper. Super delicious.

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Then we headed out to forage more.

We discovered several blue milkcaps.

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And best of all, lots of chanterelles.

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We’re having a mushroom omelette made with the chanterelles for breakfast this morning.  We’ll be enjoying plenty of delicious mushrooms for a while.

Nature’s bounty never ceases to amaze.

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17 comments on “Schrooming

  1. nebraskadave says:

    Bill, I never was a big fan of mushrooms. The one that is hunted almost exclusively here in Nebraska is the Morel mushroom. It’s very distinctive and unique in looks and can easily be identified from the other species. I liked hunting the mushrooms the best. They grow wild in the wooded areas and are foraged in the spring time. Every Nebraska mushroom hunter had their favorite spot. I don’t mind mushrooms in food or even straight up but it’s just not a must have for me.

    Have a great mushroom harvesting day.

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    • Bill says:

      Hey Dave. Here we call morels “hickory chickens.” They come up in April, but I’ve never had any luck finding any. A few weeks ago an elderly neighbor who grew up on this farm told me where they were when he was a boy. Of course there’s every reason to believe they’re still there so next spring I hope to find lots of them!

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  2. Leslie McConachie says:

    Wonder if there is a good source online that would identify the mushrooms that sprout around in southern Florida in rainy season. I love mushrooms.

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    • Bill says:

      I don’t know of one Leslie. Cherie says the best practice is just to learn 2 or 3 that you can master identifying and then stick to those. Maybe you could find a mushroom foraging class in your area. They have them around here sometime (and youtube is a great resource too).

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  3. shoreacres says:

    I’ve never in my life seen a blue mushroom. Of course, I’ve never heard of chanterelles or that chicken-thingie, either. Morels? That’s a different matter. We used to hunt for them every spring in Iowa. There’s nothing better, dusted in flour and sauted in a little butter. Oh, my.

    Glad you had people who could identify your treasures for you. Enjoy!

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    • Bill says:

      The blue ones are edible but they aren’t as desireable as the others. We haven’t tasted them yet. The chanterelles and chicken of the woods are fantastic. I’m hoping to find some morels this spring now that I have a good lead on where to look.

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  4. Chanterelles – yum! They grow abundantly in this region too, probably starting in a couple of weeks, though maybe out on the damper west coast of the Island, they’re already out. I’ve never foraged for them myself, but my husband has been out with a friend once or twice – the whereabouts of “good spots” is kept a deep secret by those who forage on a “for money” basis, and he was sworn to secrecy about where he went – I’m almost surprised he wasn’t blindfolded :). I’ve never heard of blue mushrooms that were edible, but I’ve seen various colours of fungi in the woods, so I’m not surprised. How wonderful to have such delicacies on your own patch, and experts to check their edibility with.

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    • Bill says:

      Cherie read me something earlier today about how mushroom foragers in the Pacific northwest gather chanterelles, which are sold to exporters who ship them to France, where they are packaged and sent back to America sold as gourmet French mushrooms. We’ve been feasting on them the last couple of days. Had some more with supper tonight. We’ve found a lot of them over the last couple of days. A great treat!

      We haven’t tried the blue milkcaps yet but they are certainly pretty.

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  5. bobraxton says:

    outside my pay grade

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  6. Joanna says:

    We picked our first mushrooms today too. Rain will stop play though, we are in for a 48hour shower!!

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    • Bill says:

      Hope you come through it OK. It’s been raining here for weeks. I haven’t been able to do any fall planting yet and don’t know when I’ll be able to. But the pastures are loving it. And so are the mushrooms. 🙂

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  7. Leigh says:

    We have a lot of mushrooms around but I have no clue as to what is what. I do know that we don’t have morels, everybodys favorite!

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    • Bill says:

      Leigh, you should definitely have someone teach you to identify chanterelles at a minimum. They’re easy to distinguish from other mushrooms. We’ve found lots of them here and they are wonderfully delicious (and restaurants will pay $20/lb for them). We picked a basketful this evening and will be enjoying them as long as they last!

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  8. avwalters says:

    Here we know the morels. In California we had chanterelles; I never picked them, but a cousin did and made a good side business supplying fancy restaurants. I’m leery of mushrooms, not wanting to poison my family and all. I’ll learn slowly, to be safe.

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    • Bill says:

      It’s important to be careful when foraging for mushrooms (of course) but some–like chanterelles and morels–are pretty easy to identify and don’t have any poisonous lookalikes. Cherie has been into it more than me until lately. But now I’m hooked and we’ve been going out every evening after supper to forage. We brought home a basketful of chanterelles tonight, which we’ll be feasting on for a while!

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