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Mushrooms abound!

It’s been a good couple weeks for mushrooms here – puffballs, many ready to be made into mushroom steaks, some already releasing spores, seeding future years’ mushrooms.

A “Giant Puffball” that was a wee bit small to turn into steaks –
left another week, it has ruptured, releasing tiny gray-brown spores.
Tap a mature puffball, and it’ll send up a cloud of spores. Hence the name.

And shaggy manes, good for eating fresh, or letting sit and turn into “mushroom ink”. The first time this happened to some shaggy manes we’d collected, I was devastated. Turns out that shaggy manes left sit for a half-week turn into a black inky sludge. It’s still good to cook with, and can make a pleasant sauce. While I might prefer fresh firm shaggies chopped up and sauteed in bacon grease… I do intend to improve my grasp of shaggy ink. After all – it’s a great way to store them, and doesn’t mind the freezer.

A rather small Shaggy Mane.
Note the dark spores on my palm – see how the gills take on a darker color at the fringes?
Mature shaggy mane spores turn black.

If you haven’t done so recently, go take a hike through some Forest Service land – it’s a good time to be sampling the local fungi. I’ve spotted oysters and chanterelles as well as puffballs. Just take care that those you bring home are safe as food. There’s a number I’ve not yet managed to identify.

As the saying goes, all mushrooms are edible… some only once.
Be responsible in your mushroom ID, and see to it that you can have leftovers tomorrow.

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