Sometimes when I write these stories, I imagine you well seasoned nature lovers just shaking your heads with a sigh, thinking to yourselves, "You pathetic city folk." I have to admit, I too shared in the belief that the only safe mushrooms are those you buy from the store. But, these tall beauties really took me by surprise!
An internet search safely identified them as Shaggy Mane mushrooms! Not much out here in these parts to mistake them for something poisonous. Although, that first bite did conjure up a momentary vision of gasping for breath in an emergency room...if I make it that far.
These Shaggy Manes are absolutely delicious sautéed in butter with a touch of garlic salt. We had enough of these babies to serve up full-size side dishes.
The preposterous thing is that they grew right here in the most challenging of yard dirt. Some grew up to 8" tall! Hundreds of them in an area say 20 x 30 feet. We probably harvested about half.
Timing is paramount with these guys. You want to pluck them before the lower edges of the cap start turning black or "inky". If you see good ones, don't wait until the next day to harvest, as they can go bad that fast. And once you pick them, cook em' up within a couple hours as they deteriorate quickly. They do not refrigerate well. You might get a couple days out of refrigerating once they are sautéed or cooked some other way. Sounds like a fussy endeavor, but it is totally worth it.
If there is a little inky stuff, you can just cut it off before sautéing. You definitely want to remove it because the taste is kinda nasty and the inky color will spread to the other mushrooms. Halving or quartering worked best before hitting the pan.
nature's gardening all this stuff right here on the property!
Morning frost on Mullein leaves
Shaggy Mane Mushrooms
just plain cool
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