When you find a good oyster mushroom source, you often find more than you can eat right away. Oysters don’t store or keep very long after picking, so you are better off to store some for those cold winter months. My favorite way to keep mushrooms around is to dry them. After eating my fill of the harvest, and sharing some , I proceded to dry the excess. The process is simple and easy to do! First you clean the mushrooms. This batch was pretty clean since they came off of coffee grounds. I had to rinse them a little and dryed them off on paper towels. The mushrooms were then torn along the gills to a mangeable size. This batch was dryed on racks on the counter for several days.
After a few day of drying the mushrooms looked like this. Notice how they have shrunken up since mushrooms are mostly water!
When drying large amounts of mushrooms or meaty mushrooms, we use a dehydrator. The main thing is to make sure they are completely dry before you jar them up. At this point they go into labeled mason jars for storage. When rehydrating mushrooms you can boil them a bit in water. Make sure you use or save the broth. This is where the flavor is! Rehydrating in milk works well, especially if you are going to flour and fry them or make gravy. I like to throw them in soups or sauces and let them rehydrate in the liquid of the dish. Mushroom soups made from dryed mushrooms are excellent and in most cases, better than fresh mushroom soup. So pick when you can, eat all you can, and store the rest. You will be very happy you did on those months when the mushrooms are not flushing!