Where to Start, Tips and Tools for Learning Mushrooms

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Just as I suspected…

by Brady Raymond

Learning mushrooms can be a frustrating experience, unless of course you have a photographic memory and hours of free time to devote to studying texts and spending time in the field.  Remember, not even the experts always agree on the expert stuff and there will always be more to learn.  If your interests are beyond finding some basic edible species you will no doubt start on a lifelong  journey of trying to figure these gosh darned things out.  Good luck, so are a lot of other people.  Much progress has been made since humans started documenting the different types of fungi they have found but it almost seems like wasted time as every advancement in science always inevitably disregards the old in favor of the new.  Certainly, we pay homage to the work of those done before us but invariably with a snicker and a grin, “If only they knew what we know now.”  But, what we know now will one day be what was known and still not up to snuff as time rolls on, all the while mushrooms are changing and adapting to new environments, constantly staying a step or two ahead of any attempt we make in really figuring them out once and for all.

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Savoring the PNW truffle

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by Sweta Agrawal

Back in April, Alana McGee, one of the co-founders of Truffle Dog Co. spoke at our members meeting and regaled us with tales of truffles from around the world and the PNW. I’ve made it a tradition to get a small amount of these truffles every year, and I was lucky enough to get both native blacks and spring whites from her last month.

Truffles have a reputation for being some of the most expensive food in the world. And, while truffles certainly cost more than most other mushrooms, they’re actually not too bad — for one, PNW truffles don’t have the vaunted reputation of the Perigord or Italian white, so they’re a little cheaper. And two — a little bit of truffle goes a LONG way!

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Mushroom Maynia! Sunday, May 22

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Make it a fun filled family outing and don’t forget to check out the Union Bay Natural Area while you’re there, an urban birding paradise.  Located just south of The Center for Urban Horticulture, make sure to bring your binoculars for the chance to see some not so average Seattle birds.

More info at: http://depts.washington.edu/uwbg/research/ubna.shtml

Or search online, also known as the Montlake Fill.

Eat Morels, Some Ideas

by Erin & Brady Raymond

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Erin’s quick recipe,

Scrambled Eggs, Morels and Toast

Homemade whole wheat bread, toasted. Topped with scrambled eggs and fried morels.
Morel batter – egg, flour, a bit of garlic powder, cayenne, salt and pepper to taste.

Brady says,

Mmm, and this is breakfast.  What a way to start the day.”  

 

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Erin’s quick recipe,

Morel Crostini

Homemade whole wheat bread, with olive oil toasted at 425.
For the morel cream topping:
Melt a fair amount of butter in a sauce pan. Add chopped garlic and shallot. Cook for a few minutes. Add chopped morels and sauté slowly for about 10 minutes. Add cream and continue to cook until the cream has thickened. Let cool for a few minutes. The sauce will continue to thicken as it cools. Add salt and pepper to taste. Top with chive flowers, if you have them.

Brady says,

 “You’ve got to be kidding me, morels for breakfast and now appetizer!  Mmm mmm mmm!”  

4000ft. Morels

 

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New PSMS members Mike and Alyssa’s first morel find.

by Brady Raymond

PSMS held it’s second field trip of the year on 5-7-16 in the greater Cle Elum area.  It was a well attended affair and there were no complaints in the weather department.  We looked around a few miles out from the meet up place and although conditions seemed perfect we found no morels and not much else of the fungal persuasion.  Erin and I were out this way a couple weeks earlier and things were for the most part the same, conditions were good but little to no mushrooms.  This all took place in the elevation range of  2200-2700ft.

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Dispatches from Hawai’i: Studying fungi in Hawai’i

This is the third article in a 4-part series on the fungi of Hawai’i from a Pacific Northwest perspective.  This article discusses the history and current study of macrofungi in Hawai’i from an amateur’s perspective.

How does one study fungi on an island where the only book covering local mushrooms is out of print, there are no mushroom clubs, there is no active mycologist, and internet resources are scarce?  It takes effort! What follows is a brief description of the recent study of macrofungi in Hawai’i, the resources available, and the current state of mycological research in Hawai’i.

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Mushroom of the Month – Morchella sp. (Morels)

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Morcella tomentosa

by Danny Miller

This month’s Mushroom of the Month is one that is probably already on everybody’s mind… the Morel!

Mushroom hunting comes in two seasons here in the Pacific Northwest, spring and fall. Most of our mushrooms prefer the fall, it is the bigger of the two seasons, but spring is the time to hunt for many people’s favourite mushroom, the morel!

Morels are great to hunt for, because they are pretty easy to learn to identify, unlike the hundreds of common gilled mushrooms that all seem to look alike. Make sure you learn the colour and shape of the true morel, though, as some people confuse them with the deadly poisonous Gyromitra esculenta and G. infula, which usually look more like a brain or a saddle on a stick, respectively. Even closer looking is Verpa bohemica. A Verpa, however, does not have the bottom of its cap attached to the stem, but a true morel does. A Verpa also has a stuffed stem, but a morel stem is hollow.

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