We arrived in Brookings, Oregon five days ago..continuing our journey south.
We planned on camping at the Elks lodge campsite which is on a hill not far from downtown Brookings…not especially scenic..blacktop parking lot.
While driving around town on arrival we checked out Harris Beach State Park campground.
It was lovely and wooded and there were a few sites with amazing views of the ocean and towering rock formations. We assumed we had no chance to acquire one of these sites on this busy Thanksgiving week.
I tried to reserve a site online that evening with no luck..most sites were not reservable and the ones that were available were not available for four nights in a row.
Soo…the next morning we decided to take a drive to see if we might get lucky.
As we arrived we saw a motorhome leaving one of the sites with an ok view of the ocean….then, Jeff noticed the motorhome in the next site over had its lights on..and that site was Prime real estate.
And there ya go..and there we were…..
But..it wasn't just about the view.
We were excited to arrive in another hot bed of mushrooms…the primary reason for us being here.
This time of year the area is booming with commercial mushroom pickers. We would go into the woods in search of our own bounty..
Please feel free to post a comment if you know any of the IDs or if I have one wrong.
I believe these are Elfin Saddles
~funny little flimsy shrooms with various funky heads..
Rough skinned Newt?
Those things are all well and good..
We are here to find Special mushrooms..
The mushrooms we drive 15 miles up a windy mountain road for..
The ones we will climb vertically up sides of hills for..
The ones we will carefully cross mountain brooks for..
The ones we crawl on our hands and knees under huckleberry shrubs for..
The ones that a thousand spider webs in our face could not scare us away from..
Chanterelle~ this was the end of the season for them here..We found about a gallons worth..not nearly as much as we found in Florence and Eugene area.
Any tasty edible mushroom that extended our season by appearing either earlier or later than other mushrooms would be an automatic favorite of ours, but Hedgehogs have a lot of other fine qualities going for them, too. For one thing, they’re very common, relatively easy to find and predictable in their chosen habitats. Moreover, they usually come back to the same spots, year after year (although being too greedy and picking every last one isn't recommended). They’re hardy, even withstanding light freezes (which mean the end of the season for many other mushrooms). They’re absolutely goof-proof - unmistakable for anything else - another plus (and ideal for beginners!). They’re tasty, very much like Chantrelles (which is a good thing to be “like!”). And they are beautiful, their tan to apricot color sometimes appearing to almost glow from within in certain light, particularly light fog. So, what’s not to like?
Yeah~what they said ^^
This was amazing to catch Prime Hog season! We picked a few gallons of them.
The most we have ever found.
A yellowfoot is easy to love. They are petite, with caps no more than three or four inches across, and mostly far smaller than that. They are usually clean, especially if you snip them off at the base with your fingernails or scissors. Yellowfoot caps are a tawny brown with a cute little dimple in the center, and their stalks – their feet – are a fetching canary yellow.
In the kitchen, yellowfoot chanterelles are even more versatile than their more glamorous cousins, the true chanterelles. Real chanties cannot be dried, in my opinion; they lose their aroma and get unpleasantly leathery. Real chanterelles are best pickled. Yellowfoot chanterelles are just as good as a pickle, and their petite size makes them prettier on the plate. What’s more, yellowfeet are wonderful dried, which is important: I use them constantly in my cooking.
And..new to our picking repertoire
The one and only Black gold~our new favorite mushroom!
Black Trumpet~Horn of Plenty
These mushrooms can be right before your eyes..and you might just walk over them..
Do you see them below?
Black trumpets are as delicious as they are macabre. They are so aromatic, so savory that I might just like them better than the regal porcini or chanterelles. The only problem with trumpets is that they are black — and that color stains anything they are cooked with, so you need to either go with it, as in my midnight rice recipe, or cook them separately.
Black trumpets are a mainstay in the dried mushroom medley I use as something of a secret ingredient in most of my stocks, broths and stews. I always have several quarts of dried trumpets hanging around in my pantry.
We picked about a half gallon of this black gold.
and find terrariums in the woods..
We pass the local hotel where the mushroom buyers have set up shop.
Commercial pickers come in to sell their daily finds..
Chanterelle, Hedgehog and Black trumpet…and an occasional Cauliflower mushroom.
We love us some mushrooms..
These Lobster mushrooms were from our first foray in the area…we bagged these along with a bevy of Chanterelles. I know these look ugly but i clean off the dirt,cut off the soft spots and the areas with worms.. and they are great.
The "lobster mushroom" is actually a fungus that has parasitized a Russula or Lactarius mushroom. There's really no mistaking it: the fungus creates a beautiful, bright orange covering over the mushroom, the surface of which is rather hard, and dotted with tiny pimples. Eventually, the fungus even begins to transform the shape of the host mushroom, twisting it into odd contortions.
Yellowfoot and Black Trumpet mixed together in front.
Hedgehogs in center
Chanterelle in the back..
~wonderful view behind it all~
It takes an hour or so to clean the mushrooms.
I put some in the dehydrator..others I cook and freeze.
In the photo below I am sautéing some Hedgehogs to freeze..
Thanksgivings home made cranberry sauce cooling behind them.
Our stay in Brookings was magical..
Some mushroom links..Because ya know.. Mushrooms can save the world..or so some say they can.
The Turkey Tail mushroom saved Paul's mother from cancer. At 84 she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her tumour was 5cm large and had spread to her liver and sternum. Being too elderly for most treatments, her doctor suggested she tried Turkey Tail mushrooms which were being trialled. Ironically, Paul was growing them. His mother now has no signs of cancer.
Cordyceps have been found to attract insects and supress immune systems and other mycellium was found to up-channel hydrocarbons, turning them into fungal carbohydrates. These mycellium have been tested in oil spill areas, where not only did they soak up the spilled oil in both fresh and salt water, but the mushrooms that grew, attracted insects which in turn attracted frigs and other wildlife. This meant the ecosystem was being saved on various levels.
This is a must watch video, that will fill you with joy and hope for the future of our planet and mankind.
6. Plant native deciduous and conifer trees, along with hyper-accumulating mycorrhizal mushrooms, particularly Gomphidius glutinosus, Craterellus tubaeformis, and Laccaria amethystina (all native to pines). G. glutinosus has been reported to absorb – via the mycelium – and concentrate radioactive Cesium 137 more than 10,000-fold over ambient background levels. Many other mycorrhizal mushroom species also hyper-accumulate.
Dutch designer Eric Klarenbeek’s new Mycelium Chair is an amazing mushroom-sprouting seat that fuses organic materials with modern 3D printing technology. Working with the University of Aachen, Klarenbeek developed a way to 3D print with living cells instead of plastic or metal. The sculptural fungus chair is sowed with mushroom spores that flourish over time, creating a new symbol of organic technology.
Foraged wild mushrooms are among a four-star chef's most prized and coveted ingredients. But they are also the fruit of a secretive and sometimes dangerous subculture. In The Mushroom Hunters: On the Trail of an Underground America, author Langdon Cook sets out to shed light on the modern mushroom trade, tracking fungi from patch to picker to buyer and, ultimately, the finest New York City restaurants. Informed by a decade of hobby mushroom picking, and fueled by legends of territorial gun battles, Cook makes for the woods to hunt mushrooms, live and dine with pickers, and discover a hidden way of life in some of the country's most beautiful and wild places.
Read the link below to get a feel of what it is like to be hunting mushrooms in the fall….exactly how I feel.
I love to walk along animal trails buried deep in the thicket. I love to bushwhack in the late fall – in the autumn when the smell of dying mushrooms, decaying leaves and salt air wafts through one’s senses, the emotions flared by seasonal change pressing into the soul like good medicine.