I went morel hunting over the weekend, and not only did I NOT find morels, I saw very few mushrooms at all. I found a few clumps of inky caps, and some tiny, tiny dryad saddles. I thought with the weather we've had, there would be mushrooms everywhere, but nope, very, very few.
These are the dryad saddles. Sorry about the focus, but you can see by comparison with my thumb how small they are. These mushrooms are usually the size of dinner plates this time of the year.
Seven more days of vacation. We'll try again later.
We've been doing the Meatless Monday thing for a few years now, and today, with it being cold and drizzly, I thought a nice lentil soup would hit the spot!
Super easy, all I did was saute a diced onion with some sliced carrots and celery until the onion was translucent, poured in 8 cups of vegetable stock, then followed with two cups of dry brown lentils, a drained and rinsed can of great northern beans, some tyme, salt and pepper, along with some reconstituted dried porcini mushrooms along with their strained soaking liquid, added a bay leaf, and simmered for 40 minutes until the lentils were cooked through. Added a splash of lemon juice at the end, and we enjoyed it with bread and cheese!
HOORAY!!! I finally found some morels! Not only did I find some, I found a whole freakin' smurf village of 'em! Unfortunately they were a bit old, and I was only able to get six edible specimens. No matter, I made a note of the location, and no, I'm NOT telling!
YES!! My oyster mushroom kit is starting to fruit! Below is a picture of when the mushrooms were just starting to "pin." The white cottony looking mass is the mycelium growing on the medium, which in this case is cottonseed hulls. Did you know there is a blue variety of the oyster mushroom? I hear tell there's a cult devoted to it.
Oysters are one of the easiest mushrooms to grow at home. They'll grow on cottonseed hulls, telephone books, shredded newspaper, even an old pair of blue jeans! The mushroom club we belong to provides kits every year to its members, and oysters are always popular. I've also grown agaricus blazei and reishi mushrooms from kits the club offered.
As we slide into the waning of my vacation week, we take a look at another mushroom from my photography collection. This one is the dryad's saddle, an edible often found on old logs and stumps. My wife and I enjoy this mushroom, but many others do not care for it. The edible portion is the cap's edge, the rest of the mushroom, while not poisonous, is way too rubbery to eat. I think its quite good dipped in batter and fried.
Another mushroom from a couple a years ago, this one is a bolete, a mushroom that has pores instead of gills to disperse its spores. This one is a bit unusual, these mushrooms usually do not have twin stalks and cojoined caps.