Mushrooms

A few mushies are finally appearing after the recent rains. I’ve been checking regularly, so that I can pick them before they get damaged by little critters in the leaf litter. There have been more this year than last and the good thing is, they’ve been appearing in spots where I’ve never seen them before, so it means the mycelium is more widespread than I first thought.

While I’ve eaten a few, I decided that drying for future use would be a better option. I wash them first, under the tap, to remove any dirt, then put them in the dryer as is, for a couple of hours :

This removes the surface moisture and crisps up the gills. There’s still a lot of moisture in the thicker part of the cap, so I slice them and put them back into the dryer until they’re really dry :

After that it’s into the Thermomix for a quick pulse to break them into fragments :

The smell when you take off the lid is overpowering!

I’ll use these to flavour casseroles over winter and at the moment I’ve been making a tasty sauce for my fried steak. After the steak is cooked, I remove it from the pan, add a spoonful of dried mushrooms, a dob of butter and a couple of spoonfuls of home-made tomato relish. It makes a beautifully rich sauce for the steak. Yum!

Of course, I don’t have to wait for mushroom season on the property. If mushies are on special in the supermarket, I will buy them and dry them, at any time of the year. I’ve never regretted buying the Excalibur dryer. When I first bought it, I didn’t have solar panels. Now, they run the dryer. Still drying with the sun!

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13 Responses to “Mushrooms”

  1. narf7 Says:

    Here’s to excalibur dryers! I have a 9 tray version and although it gets used predominately to make our dogs their fortnightly batch of dried steak treats, I have used it many times to dry other things. I did it with a stack of mushrooms that we grew on in mushroom compost bags that we bought. They were amazing rehydrated in Asian recipes. I buy dried shiitake mushrooms and powder them and use them in making vegan recipes as they add a distinctive umami ‘meatiness’ to the dish. No mushies here (that I would eat!) at the moment but I did just miss a stack of them growing on the road verge at the bottom of the property. Lets hope that their spores drifted over to our property and next year I will be able to harvest some 🙂

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    • foodnstuff Says:

      I’ve been buying mushroom compost lately and using it to top up the wicking boxes, in the hope of getting some mushies to grow. It looks pretty lifeless as it comes in the bag…I was wondering if they sterilise it before they sell it…..maybe I’ll try another brand.

      (Look out for the guava seeds…will be posting them tomorrow)

      Liked by 1 person

      • narf7 Says:

        I will post the Luma apiculata seeds as well. Lets see who gets to who first. The mushie compost that we get comes from a mushroom farm not too far away and gets bagged and brought down to a little nursery in Exeter. You can drive up with a trailer and pay $20 for a trailer load of it apparently but we no longer have a 4 x 4 to tow our trailer so that’s not an option (sigh).

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        • foodnstuff Says:

          That compost sounds like the real deal…pretty much straight from the farmer. I get mine from Bunnings….not always a good idea. Thanks for the Luma seeds…will do some homework on it.

          Liked by 1 person

          • narf7 Says:

            I missed the post office as Steve decided that we would head into the city at 1pm but I will send them on Monday. Would you like some perennial chilli seeds as well? They can live for over 30 years once you establish them and bear prolifically. I have red and yellow varieties if you are interested.

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            • foodnstuff Says:

              I’ll pass on the chillis, thanks all the same. I hate ‘hot’ food.

              Liked by 1 person

              • narf7 Says:

                Steve loves it. I am about to make some homemade gochujang (Korean fermented chilli paste). If you ever hear of anyone needing perennial chillies, I have seed 🙂

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  2. Chris Says:

    We’ve seen some mushrooms appearing in our yard too. I think they appreciate the lower levels of light, that comes with autumn. I’m always excited to see them, because they’re part of the soil network, and binding the particles to receive more water holding capacity. Plus they connect other plants to each other, moving nutrients around, that otherwise wouldn’t move.

    So what’s not to love about a mushroom! They’re great. Even better in warm soups. Enjoy your bounty.

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    • foodnstuff Says:

      What I really like about these particular mushrooms is that I have harvested them ‘from the wild’ as it were. While this is primarily a conservation property, I also want to harvest resources from it, in a sustainable way. I believe if we are living in a society where we are able to own land, then we have a responsibility to use it wisely and not just turn it into a pretty garden with useless plants and lawns. The more we are able to take from our own land, the less we have to take from (or destroy) truly wild land. I never pick all the mushrooms that I find. I always leave some to spawn and keep them going.

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  3. Jane Says:

    I also love mushrooms and I usually get quite a few growing, but I cannot bring myself to eat them, even when they look the same as the supermarket ones. Silly really because we used to gather the wild ones when I was a child, but then Mum and Dad made sure they were the right ones to eat.

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    • foodnstuff Says:

      It’s just a case of doing your homework and finding out which ones are edible and which aren’t. If I went on how they compare with the supermarket ones, I would not be here to write about it, because the poisonous ones here look just like the supermarket ones! Firstly, I go by gill colour….If the gills aren’t pink, leave it alone. But…there are 2 species here with pink gills…the edible ones and the yellow stainer, which is poisonous. If you cut into it, the flesh immediately stains yellow; the edible one doesn’t. There are other characteristics I look for, too…little markings on the surface and the general shape of the cap and smell. The supermarket ones have no surface markings. I’m talking about one species here, the common field mushroom…Agaricus…not the fancy oyster mushrooms and other supermarket varieties.

      Best thing is to get a good identification book or find someone who knows for sure. I have a friend who knows them all, and picks all sorts of other species that I wouldn’t touch without being sure. Most of those wouldn’t grow here anyway.

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  4. Chris Says:

    Hi foodnstuff,
    Well done and I’m really impressed with the mushrooms. I have so many different types growing here that I have no idea which is which. Out of curiosity, did you innoculate the area with specific spores where you pick the mushrooms? I purchase mushroom compost by the cubic metre and just spread it around so I have not ever noticed if it also brings in mycellium. I just don’t know enough.
    Cheers
    Chris

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    • foodnstuff Says:

      Hi Chris, good to hear from you. I’m an avid reader of your exploits at Fernglade Farm.
      No, I didn’t inoculate the area where the mushrooms are…they just come up naturally. I used A Field Guide to the Fungi of Australia by A.M.Young for the ID. The species is Agaricus augustus.
      Are your mushies coming up where you put the compost, or only in the natural (not gardened) areas?. If your compost is fresh and comes straight from the farmer, I would expect to see mushrooms eventually, but like you I don’t know enough about that side of things. I’ve been buying mushroom compost by the bag at Bunnings, but it looks pretty inert. I’d be surprised if it grew anything.

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