Eating Chanterelles and Indigo Milk Caps
NOTE: Don't eat any wild mushroom unless you know for sure what you have. And don't follow my example, then get sick, then sue me. Not everyone has my iron constitution or taxonomic giftings.
I'm cautiously learning my edible and poisonous mushrooms at the moment.
The first mushrooms I ever picked and ate from the wild were puffballs. Those are really hard to miss and with a few precautions (cut every one in half to make sure they aren't baby Amanitas or something horrid - also make sure they're white inside) they're a safe, if sometimes rather bland, wild edible.
Then I read this book:
Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World
...and caught the mushroom bug.
It also helps that this is mushroom season. The cooling weather and the rain have made our fungal friends appear everywhere.
The other day I decided to take a stroll around the block. On the way home I wandered through an empty 3-acre lot with a few trees and a lot of weeds... and I found these:
I whipped out my guide books and discovered they were Lactarius indigo - an edible mushroom with no poisonous look-alikes.
Not only that, I discovered more chanterelles:
Take a look at the two species together:
Beautiful, aren't they?
Unfortunately, I made a beginner's mistake and plucked the mushrooms and put them in my basket without cleaning the dirt off them first. Cleaning them at home when they had dirt in the gills was really a pain - don't do what I did.
The night I picked the Lactarius indigo, I ate them for dinner. They were like big portobellos!
The little bit of dirt left on the mushrooms was unpleasant but overall it was edible. Not great, but edible. Free food. Hehheh.
As for the chanterelles... Rachel and I ate them for breakfast the next morning with bacon, sauteed in bacon grease and served alongside eggs and that wonderful persimmon I posted on a couple of days back.
Wild mushrooms aren't for everyone; however, once you nail down a few good edibles, you'll be saving money on groceries, plus wild food is really, really healthy.