Black Trumpet Mushroom

Black Trumpet Mushroom

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The competition...

Just a few weeks ago I was happy to find just one large hedgehog mushroom, so imagine how amazing it was to find a whole bag full (2 or 3 lbs).

Granted, I had some competition...The slugs seems to love hedgehogs as much as I do! It was interesting to note that while the top was often pockmarked with slug munching the underside was always in very nice shape, fresh and clean.

I realize that seeing this will put some people off eating these mushrooms but hey, this isn't a hobby for the squeamish. It didn't bother me at all. I gave them a quick rinse and into the the saute pan they went. And they were delicious...Similar to chanterelles but with more meatiness. Truly an underrated mushroom.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Hedgehog Joy, Maitake Angst

Found this nice sized hedgehog today. Usually I just find the small ones with 1 inch caps and its hard to find enough of those to do much with them as far as cooking goes. But this one will make a nice addition to an omelet just by itself.

I thought I was looking at a bolete until I flipped it over. Those hanging quill-like spores are a dead giveaway and that's why the hedgehog is considered one of the 'unmistakable' edibles.

I usually find the small ones in moss btw. This large one was sitting by itself near conifers.

The maitake season started quite early this year. The one pictured there to the right was discovered on August 17th and harvested on the 24th. I've already had the heartbreak of finding a maitake gone bad and that was on Aug 30th(!), what a crazy year...Its the same problem we had 2 years ago: We had a couple cool nights in the low 50s in mid-late August but then it got hot and muggy again just like it is now. The maitakes like the cool nights and start fruiting, but they don't keep long in the hot weather so you have to move quickly. There are 3 nice young maitakes I'm keeping an eye on but if it doesn't cool off and rain a little soon I'm afraid they'll go bad also.