Angel Wings, Boletes, cauliflower mushroom, Chanterelles, Chicken of the Woods, Club mushroom, Coral mushroom, fall mushrooms, Gifford Pinchot National Forest, golden chanterelles, Lobster mushroom, mushroom hunt, national forests, Oyster, Oyster Mushrooms, Puffball Mushrooms, Sparassis crispa -


Our first official Fall forays of 2023 occurred in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest last weekend. And one of them started off with a rare find -- Sparassis crispa, the highly sought-after Cauliflower Mushroom!

These grow at the base of dying fir trees. When cleaned and chunked the flesh is reminiscent (in appearance) of egg noodles. They are typically between 1-10 pounds in size (though finds as big as 100 pounds have been recorded). This was was just over 2 pounds, which snugly fills a one-gallon baggy.

I'll be trying recipes this week and let you know my favorite. Deep fried mushroom dipped in egg batter is first, then cauliflower mushroom/creamed corn quiche, and then beef soup with cauliflower mushroom. (People I've read rave about the flavor which they said is similar to morels, meaty but not quite as savory. We'll see.)

We were also finding lots of good Lobster mushrooms still out there, and the Golden Chanterelles are beginning to pop thanks to recent rains and cooler weather. And there are tons of Boletes everywhere you look. Also Puffballs, Angel Wings, Chicken of the Woods, Oyster mushrooms, and more have already been found thus far this season.

An early research foray last week yielded lobsters, golden chanterelles, boletes, and more.

Foray Schedule

Ten more forays are planned, but are filling up fast. Here are the planned forays and how many spots remain open at the moment. (Please note that the schedule has changed slightly since our last blog post.)

Friday, October 6

Foray 1: 4-6 p.m. (3 spots remain)
Dinner in the forest: 6-7 p.m.

Tuesday, October 10

Lunch in the forest: Noon-1 p.m.
Foray 2: 1-3 p.m. (2 spots remain)

Friday, October 13

Foray 3: 3-5 p.m. (3 spots remain)
Dinner in the forest: 5-6 p.m.

Saturday, October 14

Foray 4: 10 a.m.-noon (0 spots remain)
Lunch in the forest: Noon-1 p.m.
Foray 5: 1-3 p.m. (0 spots remain)

Friday, October 20

Lunch in the forest: Noon-1 p.m.
Foray 6: 1-3 p.m. (0 spots remain)
Foray 7: 3-5 p.m. (5 spots remain)
Dinner in the forest: 5-6 p.m.

Friday, October 27

Foray 8: 3-5 p.m. (5 spots remain)
Dinner in the forest: 5 - 6 p.m.

Saturday, October 28

Foray 9: 10 a.m.-noon (5 spots remain)
Lunch in the forest: Noon - 1 p.m.
Foray 10: 1 - 3 p.m. (5 spots remain)

Reservation Policy

By way of reminder, our educational forays themselves are free. However, we invite you to join us for lunch and request a $10 per person donation for doing so. Please pay in advance (we will send Venmo and other instructions), and (because we have to buy food) this is forfeit in case of no-shows or cancellations with less than 24 hours' notice.

Also, if you are not available to join us for a meal, we request a deposit of $10/person for the foray in advance, same rules as above (forfeit in case of no shows or cancellations with less than 24 hours' notice). But this deposit will be promptly refunded to you (minus any processing costs) after your foray is completed. (And we will promptly and fully refund any deposits in case we are the ones who need to cancel.)

Other Important Details

Since we are a hobby organization, and not an official business, participation is at your own risk and you agree to not hold us liable for any accidental loss, injury, or death. But of course our top priority is to keep you safe, and much more information about this and further instructions can be found on our previous blog post.

How To Get Signed Up

Email me here: LarryShort@gmail.com. Be sure to include your full name as contact, the number of people in your party (maximum 5), everyone's age (if under 18 or over 90), and your contact info (email address and mobile phone). Also let us know if you will be joining us for the adjoining meal in the forest. I will reply to confirm your reservation, then send further instructions shortly.

If you've ever wanted to learn how to safely hunt for exotic edible mushrooms on the foothills of Mt. Rainier, this is your chance! We look forward to hearing from you.


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