Fall is our favorite time of the year here in the Pacific Northwest ... because the weather is nice, the colors great, but mostly because of the mushrooms! They are springing up everywhere.
Recent forays have yielded lots of Boletes (Slippery Jacks and Admirables), Golden Chanterelles, Lobsters, Puffballs, and others.
In addition, our maple leaf culture here at home is shooting up Shaggy Parasols like crazy, as you can see in the feature photo associated with this post. I took that two days ago, before harvesting more than 100 of the delicious caps, some as large as 6 inches in diameter.
I've spent the last few days dehydrating Shaggies, which is pretty easy since they are very open and have little moisture anyway. It only takes about 12 hours to get a good solid dehyd. Then you bag them up and store them for a year or two, which only intensifies their magnificent flavor. Later you can rehydrate them right into soups or stews, or serve with your favorite meat. Awesome!
More info on harvesting Shaggies here, here and here ... including a recipe, plus an important word of warning about toxic lookalikes. Also, if you live in a place where bigleaf maple thrives and the falls are cool and damp, you may be able to culture your own Shaggies. You can order fresh bag of culture from us here.
In case you are in the Puget Sound region and interested in joining, we have two weekends full of forays scheduled in October (and possibly more, depending on weather and mushrooming conditions). The first starts this afternoon, with more scheduled tomorrow (Saturday, Oct. 6) morning. The second set of forays will occur on Oct. 19 and 20. Do let me know if you are interested, so I can provide more information, by visiting our Facebook page and leaving a comment on the post there.
Finally, I have lots of mushroom friends who are posting information and photos about Chanterelles and other mushrooms they are finding in abundance right now. And I'd love to hear from you regarding your own experience!