No, those aren’t potato varieties.
Some can’t get enough of their french fries; I on the other hand, eat, breath and dream mushrooms. On the farm in the middle of a million other tasks I’m often on the prowl for them unintentionally. When I sit passenger’s seat in a car racing up and down the wooded hills of the Hudson Valley I spot them on trees along the side of the road and imagine the thousands of varieties hidden deeper into the forest. This mushroom fascination has mostly played itself out over the years through consumption of shiitake and portabellos from the grocery store. Once I home-made mushroom ravioli with about three different types of mushroom sauce and I was in Heaven. Another time I discovered a store dedicated solely to wild mushrooms in San Francisco and I couldn’t believe my luck (or snap enough pictures before throwing my intentions into question). When I moved to the farm, however, I finally got to go on my first wild mushroom hunt and my love affair was rightfully solidified.
Abby kindly invited me to join her on a walk with the Mid Hudson Mycological Association – local mushroom experts and aficionados who themselves kindly invite anyone interested to hunt mushrooms with them. I was positive after reading “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” by Micheal Pollen that skilled mushroom hunters would rather have me for dinner than share any of their secrets, knowledge, or edible finds with me, but these marvelous mycophiles proved us both wrong.
Here is some of what we found that day back in August: