Spring Kings

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Thanks to Sweta Agrawal for sharing some snapshots of her success this season finding the “Spring King.”  Persistence is key when trying to locate this mushroom.  It seems that you have to check your spots regularly and catch them just at the right moment if you want to have any real success.

Keeping things simple like the salad pictured above is a great way to enjoy the more subtle flavors of this enigmatic mushroom.  On the other hand, you can get quite decadent.  If you were lucky enough to find as plentiful of patches as Sweta you can try all sorts of recipes.

Having not found any Boletus rex-veris myself I can’t comment much on distinguishing features.  I have a feeling though, that if you have found Boletus edulis in the fall and saw one of these Ceps during spring growing in front of you, alarms would sound and the hunt would be on.  Names and seasons aside a Porcini is a Porcini.

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Some specimens grow quite large and will be enough for a few meals.  But remember,  the more you pick the more you’ll have to clean.  Always clean your mushrooms in the field as best possible.  Doing so makes kitchen chores much more enjoyable.  Also, make sure to check for bugs in the field by cutting your mushrooms in half.  Remove buggy areas immediately.  The bugs will continue eating the mushroom, even after being picked and wreak havoc after a long ride home from the mountains.

If you didn’t find any Spring Kings don’t fret yet.  The season is not over for Boletes and Boletus edulis the fall cousin of Boletus rex-veris will be fruiting later this year.  So read up and scout some locations while out hiking this summer.

sdr

 

Deep Fried Morels, a Dud?

Deep Fried Morels

by Brady Raymond

How could you go wrong deep frying Morels?  How could you go wrong stuffing them with jalapenos and cream cheese, coated with breadcrumbs?  Well, maybe it’s just too much.  Deep frying Morels is something I’ve wanted to try for a while now and with Erin’s help, we did our best.  They weren’t really bad and I did enjoy eating them, the only problem was that the flavor of the Morel was kind of lost.  How do you remedy flavor lost?  It’s not like you can just add bacon and boom you’ve got the perfect recipe.  And you can’t amplify the Morel flavor either, or can you?  While I do recommend frying most foods, this idea needs some tinkering before I can say it’s a delicious way to eat Morels.

We are out of fresh Morels for the season and it seems like that is necessary for at least the vessel of this recipe, however, we have been thinking of a Morel sauce to drizzle over top and a little less breadcrumb and well, maybe some bacon too.  I’ll let you know next year if it’s a keeper.  Email me if you’ve had success deep frying Morels.  psmsblog@gmail.com

Deep Fried Morels, cream cheese, jalapanos

Mushroom Hunting Safety

 

 

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You found some mushrooms but can you find your car?  A quick jaunt in the woods can quickly turn into an ominous trek through the wilderness if you don’t pay attention to where you are.

 

by Wren Hudgins

Wild mushroom foraging may not seem like a dangerous hobby, but there are real risks involved here, as there are in most outdoor activities.  Few people would argue that the freedom of not wearing a car seat belt outweighs the safety of wearing one, but people do make their own choices.  The point is that there is general recognition that certain preventive behaviors can minimize risk, although not eliminate it.  Mushroomers tend to walk off trail and through the woods, so there is always a risk of tripping and falling or otherwise injuring yourself far from your car or the nearest first aid kit.  However, by far the greatest danger is getting lost and spending much more time in the woods than you had planned.  The quality of that extra time in the woods will vary from life threatening to miserable to merely inconvenient, depending on how prepared you are.  A friend of mine is an officer for the Snohomish County Search and Rescue and he thinks that in 2016 there were three lost foragers in Snohomish and Pierce counties, all of which involved extended stays in the forest, in one case overnight, but all three were found.  None of the three were adequately prepared.  We don’t have numbers on this but there may have been other foragers who were lost but who were adequately skilled and prepared such that they never had to call search and rescue. (BTW, Search and Rescue teams do not charge for being called – at least in WA state)

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Memorial Day Weekend

 

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When you find a bunch of Morels in a small area make sure to mark it on your GPS.  Erin and I have some reliable patches that seem to produce each year.

 

by Brady Raymond

How do you thank those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country?  As folks barbecued with friends and family this past weekend or in my case mushroom hunted, I hope we all took a moment to reflect on the freedoms we have to do these things and the lives that were lost to protect those freedoms.  Since I can’t thank those who were lost in the line of duty I would like to thank those who are currently serving and those who have served in the past.  Thank you, your service does not go unnoticed by this author.

For the last five years, Erin and I have taken part in what may be the premier mushrooming foray in the Pacific Northwest, maybe even the country.  As we arrived at our destination, thoughts of the Morel season coming to a close were on our minds.  Things had been dry over the last week and as we all know “dry” is the enemy of fungi.  What would we find this weekend?  Would we find anything at all?

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