Mushroom cook-out

Mushroom cook-out
by David Bedry, 17 October 2014. 

Twenty adults and three children headed into the woods for a follow-up field trip after our monthly meeting. Brian Lee, the previous nights speaker, led a great trip into the forest at Squirrel Crossing.

Despite a forecast of heavy rain and strong winds the weatherman cooperated for our field trip. Most people were prepared and dressed appropriately for the weather with water repellent clothes and in layers.

Brian lead us into the forest and we started seeing mushrooms that he began talking about almost immediately. Brian would either show and talk about mushrooms that he came across or commented on specimens that members brought to him.

Brian constantly emphasized the safety of what we were picking and referred to two field guides (All That the Rain Promises, and More by David Arora and Common Mushrooms of the Northwest by J. Duane Sept – both are available at Breakwater Books) to accurately identify what we were picking.

After a couple of hours of traipsing through the woods we converged on the picnic site at Squirrel Crossing (thanks to the BOMB Squad for the new picnic tables and benches) where Brian treated us to his mastery of culinary skills regarding our pickings. He suggested a cast iron skillet on high heat to “dry sauté” the mushrooms. This evidently both cooks the mushrooms as well as removing the excess moisture so you don’t have a “slimy” product in the fry pan. He only added a bit of butter towards the end of cooking to emphasize the taste of the mushrooms and not all the other flavours that could be added.

We all learned a great deal about mushroom identification, picking, and how to prepare and cook them.