Monday, October 13, 2008

Hen of the Woods

The top of the mushroom.

The bottom.
Here I hold the stalk.

My daughter was helping my hubby move tree logs from a rotted tree we had to cut down. It was too close to our power lines, so it had to go. It did have a lot of bore holes in it from insects. At the base of the tree stump Leah found a huge hen-of-the-woods mushroom. Hubby told her it probably wasn't an edible mushroom, but she knows I am the resident expert and she loves eating what we find. So she ran to get me. It must have weighed ten pounds, and you can see it takes up one half of my sink! The photos dont really show how heavy and large it was. After soaking it and removing all the sawdust I was left with 2 huge containers.

Leah and I had quite a breakfast of it!

It has the texture of chicken. It has a wonderful flavor. I can't describe it. I made a simple batter of a large fresh egg, some milk and some crushed Town House crackers and sauteed them in butter. After cooking I sprinkled on some salt, that's it! So easy, and was it good? Oh yes.

I have always loved mushrooms. We have dryad saddles and slippery jacks, but I didn't find any of those this year. We have had puffballs and horse mushrooms too. This is the first hen-of-the-woods. I sure hope we find some again next fall. I love free food! Of course, bad taxonomy can kill you. I use the Peterson Field Guides Mushrooms and Start Mushrooming by Stan Tekiela and Karen Shanberg. I resorted to buying the Peterson book since we didnt have many of the "safe six" mushrooms here on Kingfisher Farm. There are so many more edible ones that grow here, but if you are in doubt dont eat it. People have told me in horror, "you could get poisoned!"

Well I am happy to report I did get a good grade in Botany in college. I'm smarter than the average bear, and about as well fed as one!!


Peng Peng said...

Good heavens! that 'shroom could be in Guiness World Records! I can almost hear the sizzle of your frying pan.. yummy ;o) I'll stick to my safe 'store bought' variety, lol! Baby Bellas are my fave.

Sandra Evertson said...

Looks incredibly Delicious!

CARole said...

Hi there Pam. i have never seen a mushroom like that and I have never heard of any of the mushrooms you speak of. You must really know your mushrooms if you cooked that and fed it to Leah. How come hubby didn't eat any?

Kingfisher Farm said...

Carole, He did eat tons of it! I made 2 mushroom spinach quiches for dinner. It was incredibly delicious! Then he took leftovers to work for lunch the next day. And Leah and I had some for breakfast. Pam