by Derek Hevel
On June 17th, some of the PSMS cookbook team met for our first official cookbook potluck! Sunny day, some fun engaged cooks, and some tasty mushroom dishes. We met in Heather and Chris’ yard for some culinary tasting and cookbook discussions. Our two hosts, Sarah and myself took some time to “act out the process” of making mushroom recipes, taking photos and saving recipes of prepared dishes, and tasting dishes so we will have an idea how it will go over the next year. The four of us also got into a richer discussion about the cookbook’s content, organization, photos, and style. We had the 1969 cookbook and some contemporary cookbooks to review for possibilities and directions, and I think we made real headway in imagining the finished cookbook itself.
Heather’s Mushroom Pâté
Sarah’s Mushroom Potato Bake
Derek’s 6 types of Stuffed Morels
Everything was delicious! I couldn’t ultimately tell you what went into each of my stuffed morels since the cooking process turned a bit experimental at moments, but I’ll try again with more precise measurements. The iPhone photos I took are ok, but I’ll level up to a better camera and a proper lighting setup soon.
If you’re a PSMS member and want to join the cookbook team, let me know!
Oh, the glory.
by Brady Raymond
What will be the outcome for the “Spring 2018 Washington Mushroom Season?” Only the future knows. However, I know that I’m finding Morels at various elevations. I also know that I’m loving every second of it. I worry a little that the weather is going to get too hot too quick and before we know it the season will be over. I cast these thoughts aside though, and I focus on the task at hand, which is quite simple, “To find as many Morels as I can.”
So far, the pickings have been a little slim for me, but what I have found has been thoroughly enjoyed. I’ve seen a few other folks while out and only one looked to have a bag with very much in it, so I don’t think I’m doing too bad. The two times I have been out this season We’ve collected enough to feed three for both breakfast and dinner. These are meager pickings comparatively speaking but, one has to be thankful for anything Mother Nature is willing to offer up.
Even the simplest of meals is awesome cooked over campfire coals, especially breakfast.
If you want to learn about mushrooms gather round for Brian’s table tours at PSMS field trips.
by Brady Raymond
Morels are here, and that means it’s time to gear up and head out. I have reports of landscape Morels being found in the Puget Sound lowlands and as warmer weather moves in we can start moving up into the mountains. Landscape Morels are good but mountain Morels are better and probably cleaner too. Make sure if you find landscape Morels to be discerning when picking them for the table. Many urban landscapes are fouled with pesticides and other harmful contaminants, caution is urged when collecting near human populations. If you are lucky enough to spot some locale landscape Morels count it as a good omen for the rest of the season.
Spring also means the beginning of the 2018 PSMS field trip season. If you’ve been on field trips in the past you probably already know that it is one of the best ways to learn about mushrooms and if you haven’t been on a field trip let me reiterate, it is one of the best ways to learn about mushrooms. There is no substitute for getting out in the woods and finding mushrooms first hand, taking in all of the peripheral clues and of course having access to one of PSMS’s most valuable resources, Brian Luther.
Tuesday, January 9th 7:30pm
Greg Hovander Presents
Central Cascades Romp Through Mushrooms
Doors open at 6:30 pm at the Center for Urban Horticulture. Come early and bring any mushrooms you want identified!
This stunning photographic presentation by mycologist, mountaineer, and naturalist Greg Hovander will present the diversity of wild mushrooms gracing the most pulchritudinous plethora of peaks in the Central Cascades between Snoqualmie and Stevens Pass, Washington. He will emphasize edible species and attempt to sharpen identification skills for the astute forager. You will accompany him through strenuous wilderness few people have ever been, up and down mountains east side of the Cascade crest in a circuitous route to properly capture the essence of one of the most beautiful real estates on Earth with its myriad of mushrooms, plants, and wildlife used to sustain him in his endeavor. If the audience looks trustworthy, he will share some of his concocted recipes for wilderness “thrival” before publishing them.
Greg Hovander is a native of Washington, living in Sultan, WA with his wife, working as the owner pharmacist of a small, independent pharmacy, Sultan Pharmacy & Natural Care, where he cares for patients in old-fashioned ways, including the identification of wild mushrooms and plants, use of natural products, and preparation of prescriptions. At age 70, he remains active climbing mountains, studying the wonders of nature, and sharing his enthusiasm for life with now countless audiences. Greg began his lifelong pursuit of mushrooms at the UW School of Pharmacy when offered a research job with radioisotopes for elucidating metabolic pathways utilized by certain mushrooms in producing mind-altering substances. He was the founder of the Skykomish Valley Mycological Society, and currently is a member of the Snohomish County Mycological Society and the Pacific Northwest Key Council.
Wow, it’s 2018! That means we can move on from the dismal fall season of 2017 and start getting our heads right for the 2018 spring season. And as we all know spring means, Morels.
Morels mean good times and great eating. I can’t wait.
by Brady Raymond
“Things are looking good” and “Things are good” are two very different statements. As I stepped out of the car this year at the 2017 Ben Woo Memorial Foray my heart was filled with excitement. My brain, on the other hand, was much more suspicious of what awaited us in the forests skirting Mt. Rainier this year.
“What’s the scoop?” I asked Milton who was nearby as I hopped out of the car.
“Not good.” He replied.
My heart sank a bit, surely there had to be something. Once all the attendees arrive we’re bound to find mushrooms. Over a hundred sets of eyes will be searching these woods, zigzagging and crisscrossing each others path. My heart lifted a bit at the thought, but then froze as a few flakes of snow started to fall. It’s just not the year I guess, not like last year, at the Ben Woo All Sound Foray.
The stems in the specimens at center and the caps in the specimens at left have changed color where the droplets were located before drying.
by Jeff Stallman
On a West Coast road trip in the summer of 2012, California was in the middle of one of its now-famous droughts. In dry Yosemite Valley, I joined a ranger-led walk to hear about the natural history of the area. Enjoying learning about unfamiliar trees and mammals, I was surprised when we happened along a large fruiting of chicken of the woods (Laetiporus sp.). Although the brown grass crinkled beneath our feet and many annual flowers were already deflated by the mid-summer heat, this fungus was fresh and covered with water droplets, nearly to the point where it was dripping on the ground.
This had always impressed me, and I occasionally shared the experience with others as one of those “aren’t fungi interesting and unexpected” stories, but did not think much of it again until years later when hunting in Hawaiʻi.
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.
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.
Our 2016 Annual Fall Wild Mushroom Exhibit will be on October 29th and 30th. For the second year the show will be held in the cafeteria at Bellevue College, 3000 Landerholm Circle, Bellevue, WA 98007. This location is a large venue for our event, abundant free parking, and all of the exhibit is under one roof on one level! Bellevue College is close to and is easily accessible from I-90 and does not require a toll going over the I-90 Bridge from Seattle. It is also well serviced by Metro for people who prefer to ride the bus.
The exhibit will be open to the public on:
Saturday, Oct 29th: Noon – 7PM
Sunday, Oct 30th: 10AM – 5PM.
Admission fees for this event are:
Full time students (with IDs): $5
Children 12 and under: free.
Tickets will be pre-sold online on our website at http://www.psms.org starting Oct 1st.