Any Mushroomers?

jimmydub

Active Member
#16
Morels can be cooked a number of ways, just be sure to cook them thoroughly. Some people like to bread and deep fry and eat them as is, or they are great in soups, sauces, sprinkled on top of steak, or any of a number of applications. I have personally never had better pasta than that made with morels. They have a steak-like flavor, but also their own distinct "morel" taste.
 

porterHause

Just call me Jon
#17
I'm pretty pumped about the season as well. I hunt chanterelles in the fall as well, and they provide a sweet, apricoty taste to dishes. Would be good with some grouse! Alas, I usually cook them with chicken or chowder.

Morels are more of a woodsy taste. I pick, then dry in the dehydrator. Seals up all the flavor. Then when I'm cooking them, rehydrate in water, using the water as base/stock for sauce. Simmer them shrooms, add cream, reduce until saucy and awesome. Serve with steak...with pasta, etc. Soooo good!

Cooking or dehydrating releases all the gnarly chemicals. Get "All That the Rain Promises, and More" for a good guide to get you started. There are a couple of look-alike's that could get you in trouble..."false morels" and another reddish one that looks like a brain. Some eat the false morels (cooked), but I stay away from them. The red one's are bad news.
 

jimmydub

Active Member
#18
pH, great post.

"All That the Rain Promises, and More" by Arora is probably the simplest, most effective mushroom identification guide you can buy. I highly recommend "Mushrooms Demystified" by Arora as well, it's much more in-depth and is probably the most detailed and readable mushroom identification book around. "Mycelium Running" by Stamets is one of the coolest things I have ever read, not an id book but amazing for understanding mushrooms. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the natural sciences.
 

Jim Wallace

Smells like low tide.
#19
Thanks for the field guide recommendation, jimmydub.

And thanks for the Morel photos, Gene. In recent years, I've only just collected a couple of King Boletes (in the early Fall), found only one spot with Chantrelles (top secret, not that great a spot, anyway), and have sampled some young, fresh Puffballs.
I haven't been going after the local ones that are found under the shore pines. A couple of the properties that I used to take care of had King Boletes popping up, usually underneath Spruces, and I'd try to be on top of those. I found a nice one popping up right on a creek bank once, below a big Spruce.
 
#20
I haven't done much picking in the spring for Morels, but get out when I can in the fall for any of my favorites: chantrelles, milky caps, cauliflower, different boletes, etc. I like them all differently. About 10 years ago my brother used some compost that had ash in it to spread around his yard. He put down some cardboard first, and the next year he had TONS of morels. So tasty! I wish I had more time to get out and take long walks through the woods. I love the smells during the different seasons. It's like therapy/meditation and treasure hunting all rolled into one.
 

jimmydub

Active Member
#21
I haven't done much picking in the spring for Morels, but get out when I can in the fall for any of my favorites: chantrelles, milky caps, cauliflower, different boletes, etc. I like them all differently. About 10 years ago my brother used some compost that had ash in it to spread around his yard. He put down some cardboard first, and the next year he had TONS of morels. So tasty! I wish I had more time to get out and take long walks through the woods. I love the smells during the different seasons. It's like therapy/meditation and treasure hunting all rolled into one.
I couldn't agree more, it's a very healing experience. It's one of those activities that really connects you with nature. Sometimes you can actually smell the mushrooms, especially if you get to know the woods you're in well enough.

That's really cool your brother cultivated morels, I really want to experiment with outdoor cultivation of morels. I haven't found cauliflower yet, but I thought I did when I found the Hericium last fall. I haven't targeted milky caps yet, but I did find some candy caps that were too far gone while fishing Pass Lake not too long ago.
 
#22
I love it when you can smell them in the woods after a good rain and the air is still in the forest. Awesome. If you ever do find a nice cauliflower (they get up to 40 pounds!) they make a great cream of mushroom soup. They have a flowery fragrance that tastes great, but they are a pain in the ass to clean. They also can come back in the same spot for a few years in a row. All this conversation makes me want to get out there!

His cultivation was by accident, but we sure ate well for a while!
 

jimmydub

Active Member
#23
Mmmmmm, cream of mushroom soup! I made a cream of chanterelle soup last year that put me in a state of nirvana. Nothing quite like it!
 

jimmydub

Active Member
#25
I took my second preseason scouting trip to a healthy, old lowland second growth forest yesterday. While I didn't find any edibles, there were some beautiful Ganoderma oregonense, also known as Reishi or Ling-chi. Also growing were fresh turkey tails and tree ears. Medicinal mushrooms everywhere, and a few LBMs, but no morels or oysters yet. Keep the temps above freezing much longer, though, and there will be some I'll bet!
 

Jim Ficklin

Genuine Montana Fossil
#26
As stated, "All the Rain Promises, and More" by David Aurora is a good pocket guide. "Mushrooms Demystified" by the same author is my "bible." I like Chanterelles in omelets, but sauteed Morels are my fav. Both are fairly easy to identify & the time is getting close for Hank the mushroom dog & I to harvest the timber edges (I let him sniff a few last year & after that he got pretty good at letting me know when he found them them if I I paid attention to his explorations.).
 

jimmydub

Active Member
#27
As stated, "All the Rain Promises, and More" by David Aurora is a good pocket guide. "Mushrooms Demystified" by the same author is my "bible." I like Chanterelles in omelets, but sauteed Morels are my fav. Both are fairly easy to identify & the time is getting close for Hank the mushroom dog & I to harvest the timber edges (I let him sniff a few last year & after that he got pretty good at letting me know when he found them them if I I paid attention to his explorations.).
Sounds like you know where the tasty ones live! I am seriously impressed with your dog, too. Have you thought of training him for truffles?
 

Jim Ficklin

Genuine Montana Fossil
#28
Thanks! A few mushrooms I know. Wouldn't know a truffle if one fell in my lap, but Hank does have a fantastic nose & our relationship has been very intuitive . . . one of the breed's characteristics is tracking/trailing.
 

jimmydub

Active Member
#29


Those are Oregon white truffles, which are symbiotic with Douglas fir. They grow underground, but can sometimes pop above ground. They're relatively common apparently, they're just obscured by soil and debris and look like rocks.

They are supposed to be delicious. I've have never found or eaten truffles of any kind, so I wouldn't have the first idea. Dogs and pigs are used mostly, but if you know what you're looking for and know the area well, you can find them without help. Dogs are the best way to look from what I've read, because they aren't inclined to root up and eat the truffles like pigs do (female pigs are used, truffles give off pheromones that are found in male pigs).

Typically you rake away the duff and soil layers to get down to the truffles, which can cause significant disturbance to the forest if impacts aren't consciously kept to a minimum. If the ground is disturbed too much, the truffles won't come back.