Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Why was the mushroom invited to the party?

Because he was a fungi. Get it? Okay, so last year the forests burned around here (like they usually do), so we went out to pick Morels. Morels are tasty little fungi that fruit in burned forests. They live on the roots of trees, and when the trees die (like in a fire), the fungus says "better get OUTTA HERE" and pops up a mushroom that deploys safety rafts (spores). And then we come in with knives and pick'em.

Burned forests look like this. Careful of falling trees and avoid windy days.

Morels look like this. But don't pick them unless you have a trusty mycologist around to give you the a-ok (we did)!

Burned forests are full of tasty mushrooms and weirdos. Beware.

A bonanza of morels.

String them up on dental floss, air dry them, and you're set for the months to come. Consider making dried mushrooms a pantry staple alongside your other dried food. I always buy more than I need, and instead of letting them spoil I will dry them out and keep them handy to throw into stews and sauces.

DELICIOUS!!!!!! And a quick nod to some of the other lovelies in these woods on the right. All edible, and don't worry, all expertly identified. We have coral mushrooms, Pine mushrooms, puffballs, and lobster.


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