Friday, May 7, 2010

Mushroom Harvest

Well, my chicken polypore mushrooms have been corralled and growing for over a week. Several people told me they thought i should harvest them, but i was resisting. I did not think the color and size was at the maximum. I had broken a few of the little protrusions off and cooked them to try mother watering for more! Finally, i gave in, and set off through the woods with a basket, a knife and a few dogs.
Kismet is keeping watch for me. I cut away the plastic shield, and find
the mushroom has grown to conform to the mold. I might have had larger mushrooms if i had not corralled them!

BUT the mushroom does not seem hurt, and i am sure the corrals kept them from being run over by 4-wheelers, etc.

My purpose in making the corrals was to keep dirt from being bounced into them by passers-by or the rain.

This was only marginally successful. I found, when i took them up, that i had left them too long. I really did not need the knife to harvest, they had already separated from the wood. I think ideally i would have wanted to cut them off. There was some white fluffy mold on the bottom, between the mushroom and the dirt. I do not think this is optimal. the mushroom is full of crevaces, and there are many little beetles, and ants living there.

I cut away the really dirt filled portions, and tried to pack my basket for the way home....

wow, more mushroom than basket! This is exciting! I should have judged that, but i really thought there would be more loss.

Do you think the dogs want some? Well, they might get a bite. Are mushrooms poisonous to dogs? I know squirrels eat those white ones in the yard, and that i cannot eat those. hmmmm.

More cleaning and trimming and getting out little insects at home. I give in and wash the whole bunch. I have been told you are not supposed to wash mushrooms until right before cooking, but there is so much here, and so many ants...

In the end, i cook a whole panfull for lunch (they really absorb alot of butter!) and they are delicious! They have a very meaty texture, and i hesitate to say it: They taste a bit like chicken!

I have at least twice this many left, and i am half afraid to put them in the fridge. I am leaving them out, in front of the air conditioner vent...what do you think?

Next time, i think i will try a barrier that does not retain the moisture, and harvest more protrusions as they grow. What an adventure!

Hey, look, my friend Nifty found one, too!


Von said...

Exciting!!I would just fence them loosely, not that I have any experience at all!

niftyknits said...

Pamela - wish I could taste it! so pleased your experiment worked out ok, and I have no doubt it will be even more successful next time.

Sharona R - שרונה ראובני said...

Ooh, what an impressive mushroom!

Midnightcoiler said...

Pretty great! I love that this is becoming a tradition for you. The mushroom is cool, and it's exciting to find something in the wild from Mother Nature that's such a delicacy!