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Sat Sep 29, 2012, 09:29 PM

Any mushroom foragers out there?

I will probably have eaten this mushroom before I get many answers, but it is worth a try. I was out in the woods today and found a beautiful sulphur shelf (chicken) mushroom. I have only one way that I know to cook it, and that is breaded and fried. I will do this with some of it, but there is quite a bit of mushroom here. I am wondering if anyone has any idea what else I can do with it. Is it possible to freeze some of it for later, and if so, what would be the best way to do that?

I wish I wasn't too tired and it wasn't too late to cook it up tonight!

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Reply Any mushroom foragers out there? (Original post)
Curmudgeoness Sep 2012 OP
Lugnut Sep 2012 #1
Curmudgeoness Sep 2012 #2
Lugnut Sep 2012 #5
MuseRider Sep 2012 #3
Curmudgeoness Sep 2012 #4

Response to Curmudgeoness (Original post)

Sun Sep 30, 2012, 01:12 AM

1. The other half found some ram's head mushrooms that might be close to those you found.

Ram's heads are white tree mushrooms. He found some yellow ones that might be chicken mushrooms. He fried one in a pan with garlic and olive oil then put it in tomato sauce. He cleaned and froze what he had left. I'm not a fan of mushrooms so I don't eat them.

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Response to Lugnut (Reply #1)

Sun Sep 30, 2012, 01:55 PM

2. Thanks. It sounds yummy,

until it went into the tomato sauce....not that it would be bad in sauce, but it would take away from the unique wild mushroom flavor.

So he froze the remained raw? No cooking prior to freezing? That sounds easy.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #2)

Sun Sep 30, 2012, 11:41 PM

5. He froze them raw.

My dad used to pick mushrooms every Fall. He would string them on heavy thread and hang them up to dry behind the coal stove in the kitchen. My mother would make a gravy with them for Christmas Eve dinner.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Original post)

Sun Sep 30, 2012, 04:59 PM

3. Drying works well.

I only do morels because I know them, grew up hunting them. I am afraid to step into others until I can find someone who can show me without a doubt what is safe.

I have frozen some raw in a cube of water, they ended up mushy and not great but some of the taste was there. I have cooked them half way and frozen them. That was ok, better than raw frozen. This year I dried a ton of them, put them in a vacuum bag and stuck them in the freezer. I think these might come out best. Texture of the shroom is certainly a part of this so I have no idea if any of this is helpful. I would look at mushroom hunting sites. They have lots of great ideas there.

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Response to MuseRider (Reply #3)

Sun Sep 30, 2012, 05:21 PM

4. I have been eating wild mushrooms for about 20 years.

Odd how it happened. After my dad (who was an avid forager or Polish decent) passed away, my mom and I started to take daily walks. We kept seeing so many mushrooms and kicked ourselves in the ass for never getting the knowledge from my dad when we could. So we just got some books and started studying. We first found the chicken mushroom that is so distinctive that you don't have to worry about if you have it right. We kept studying and kept gathering and trying all kinds of mushrooms. Since my mom passed away, I have found people who also love foraging and have taught me even more.

But as to cooking and preserving, I am still a beginner. I do know things that don't tend to work. Like you, I have found that you cannot freeze them raw, and that rarely are they as good after any freezing. Many mushrooms will parboil and freeze well, at least for using in foods instead of alone. The chicken mushroom (from what the internet is telling me) does not dry. It is just too fleshy...it is a solid chuck of fungus that can run 40-50 pounds.

If I don't hear from anyone about how to freeze it, I will just keep eating it in large quantities until it is done. Too bad that you are not close to me here in PA, I would be willing to help you with what I have learned. If you really are interested and are often finding mushrooms that you don't know, get a book or two---Audubon has a classic that also tells how to cook them and how to do spore prints for identification. That was my first and still my favorite.

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