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2018 HMS Member
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Everything posted by Bruce

  1. Bruce

    Need help with polypore ID

    Top view of the same fungus. The tawny color seen in this photo was not nearly as apparent to the eye.
  2. Bruce

    What is this??

    Pretty sure that's a Laetiporus cincinnatus. I would need to see where it was growing and whether it had gills or pores on the underside to be sure. There should be round, white pores instead of any gill structure, and this species tends to grow on buried tree roots. For many mushroom species, the superficial, physical appearance is only part of the identification process. I suggest you buy a couple of mushroom guidebooks and do your homework. I have four main resources, all of which I recommend: "Mushrooms" (Peterson Field Guide) by Kent and Vera McKnight. "Edible Wild Mushrooms of North America" by Fischer and Bessette. "100 Edible Mushrooms" by Michael Kuo. "Edible Wild Mushrooms of Illinois and Surrounding States" by McFarland and Mueller. Before eating any wild mushroom that I have little experience collecting, I check ALL FOUR of these books...both for key identifying characteristics and for poisonous look-alikes. No mushroom is so tasty that it's worth risking your health over. Hope this helps!
  3. Bruce

    Corn Smut

    Just wondering if anyone else here has tried corn smut (huitlacoche). In Mexico, it is a delicacy. My wife and I got a bunch of it perhaps 20 years ago and it is quite good as a meat substitute in tacos. I would love to lay my hands on more (we have a terrible raccoon problem and unfortunately growing corn of any kind in our back yard is a pipe dream). The inside is black and kinda nasty-looking, but the taste is excellent. If you decide to try it, be sure to pick and process before the galls become leathery and the spores inside turn powdery. The stage shown in the photo below is just about perfect.
  4. Bruce

    Corn Smut

    Sort out any galls that whose skins have become papery. Remaining juicy, tender ones should be chopped and saute'd slowly in a little oil. It will turn black when cooked...don't let that put you off. You can then use them in Mexican food like tacos or quesadillas (they retain some of the corn-y flavor) or blend them into a pate' to spread on crostini or what-have-you. There are a few recipes on the Internet. I'm told it can be eaten raw but I've never tried it that way.
  5. I have never actually collected these before, but it sure looks like it! Be sure to check every mushroom, though.
  6. Bruce

    Magic Truffles

    According to a 2010 article in Lancet (the major medical journal in Britain), magic mushrooms are actually the least harmful of all recreational drugs. The worst, predictably, was alcohol. http://www.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/lancet/PIIS0140-6736(10)61462-6.pdf I have no idea what "magic truffles" are, but if they contain psilocybin, they are illegal.
  7. Bruce

    Bolete Season begins!

    I understand and agree, but that can be a slippery slope to start newbies down, IMHO.
  8. I was very excited to find a large bolete on this afternoon's mushroom excursion. Many boletes are delicious and this one was a full six inches across! Unfortunately, it seemed to best match the description of the common Bitter Bolete -- edible but not palatable. I cut out a small sliver of the cap and tasted it and sure enough...eech! Not to worry, though; I still managed to collect about three pounds each of oyster mushrooms and mixed chanterelles before the mosquitoes chased me home.
  9. Bruce

    Chantrelle season yet?

    Not hen of the woods, not chanterelles, not even close. I agree with Derek, you need to get a book...or better yet, two or three. Familiarize yourself with edible and especially poisonous species. I never count on someone else to identify something for me. Conversely, I think I speak for many others when I say that I don't want to be even partially responsible for you getting sick. There are no shortcuts to mushroom ID and a single error can be deadly. Take ownership of your own well-being; and when in doubt, throw it out. Finally, if you spray your back yard with pesticides, fertilizers or anything of that nature you should not be picking mushrooms for the table there.
  10. Bruce

    Bolete Season begins!

    By the way, under normal circumstances, I do not recommend using taste as an identifying characteristic!
  11. Bruce

    Chicken of the woods?

    Very common mushroom that is quite distinctive and tastes great if you get them young enough.
  12. Bruce

    Chantrelle season yet?

    I've been finding plenty of chanterelles in Owen and Morgan County. Most of them have been Smooth Chanterelles (Cantharellus lateritius), which are just okay; but as of today's foray the cibarius are beginning to show up more. If you've never collected them before, be careful of poisonous look-alikes, particularly Jack-o-lanterns.
  13. I found a Meripilus giganteus yesterday (see photo) but have never eaten one. If anyone has a good recipe please advise. I'm told they can be rather stringy but this one looks young and is [hopefully] relatively tender.
  14. Mushroom dinner last night. As recommended, we batter-dipped and fried some of the Meripilus along with a Laetiporus that I collected on the same foray. As expected, several pieces were a little chewy...but the flavor was good. I would definitely eat it again.
  15. Thanks much, we will try that ASAP!
  16. Bruce

    Another awsome day chanty hunting

  17. Bruce


    I thought honey mushrooms grew on wood.
  18. Bruce


    Very tasty...hard to find in quantity.
  19. Bruce


    Sparassis crispa
  20. Bruce


    Russula emetica
  21. Bruce

    Coral mushrooms

    Mmmm...you're making me hungry! Nice cluster.
  22. Does this web site represent an actual club (like this one: https://ohiomushroomsociety.wordpress.com/). I enjoy the forums but would like to meet people for forays, too. Thanks.
  23. What's your health worth to you? Better safe than sorry, I say.
  24. Bruce

    Edible Native Strains?

    I have not inoculated wood myself (yet), but rumor has it that oysters will grow aggressively. Bore holes 1" deep and 5/16" in diameter every 6" in willow, poplar or cottonwood, poke a small plug of oyster fruiting body in each hole, cover with beeswax, and keep it wet. Be advised that the type of wood matters -- building lumber is mostly spruce or pine and most Indiana species will NOT colonize it (perhaps a good thing). Let me know if you meet with success!
  25. Bruce

    Wood ear? Auricularia aricula?

    For future reference, here is a photo of brown wood ear. These are particularly small examples; as they get bigger, they lighten in color and develop a "frosted" appearance on one side. Often you will find large and small fruits on the same piece of wood. These particular wood ears were found on May 1 and made a nice oriental soup.

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