A Bag Full of Memories

Hunger motivated a trip to the garage this afternoon. While rummaging around in the freezer I found a bag.   I unzipped it, and out wafted the aroma of early autumn.  Damp and earthy.  A heavenly paradox, considering that we're barely one hundred eighty degrees seasonally from that other equinox.

Flashback to last autumn.  It was late afternoon, we were bumping our way out of the mountains on a dirt and gravel road.  I despise road hunting.  That day I made an exception.  Jo drove slowly, we scanned the road edge for our quarry.

A ha!  There!  And then, a couple more. White.  Egg shaped.   Shaggy mane mushrooms. Finding them is almost like finding presents under the tree at Christmas.

In our neck of the woods they usually appear in early fall, usually after the first rainy or snowy cold snap in September.  Years ago I found some along the Cassiar Highway in Northern British Columbia in late July.  But then, that's cooler, wetter country.

These mushrooms don't last long, eating quality wise.  They go from their nice firm white egg shape to a black inky pile of yuck, in what seems to be hours.  Hence the name inky caps. We immediately clean enough for prompt eating.  The rest are washed, trimmed, dried off and frozen for later use.

And so, without further ado........ there's mushrooms to chop, and roux to be made.

Cream of shaggy mane tonight!

Earlier that day was spent in the high country, chasing birds and dogs.  That post can be seen here.


Bill Trussell said…
I am a mushroom addict, they are delicious in Mexican food. thanks for reminding us all how good these little bits of nature can be.
Lester Kish said…
Mexican? Really? You'll have to share a recipe. Morels are great sautéed, and in wild turkey picatta. The cream of shaggy mane was wonderful too.
Lydia said…
What a beautiful mushroom! I love the name too. I am happy you found the bag and had a great meal. You must be feeling better!
Lester Kish said…
They are a neat looking mushroom. And, even after months in the freezer, made a great pot of soup.

It's still too early to tell If I'm "better", but thanks.
walt said…
Great find and rediscovery, Les. Shaggy Manes (and puffball) grow on my yard's edge and are the only wild mushroom I'll pick and enjoy cooking up.
Bill Trussell said…
Portabella mushrooms are awesome in grilled chicken quesadillas---check out this link
http://allrecipes.com/recipes/world-cuisine/latin-american/mexican/mexican-appetizers/quesadillas/ thanks for sharing the Morels and Mane
Lester Kish said…
Shaggy manes are the best don't you think? I've found puffballs to be ok, but they need a little "help", kind of like eggplant does.
Lester Kish said…
Great link Bill, thanks. I'll have to give it a try. Portabella mushrooms remind me of the bolete, without the slimy gills.