The False Morel

I was looking for mushrooms awhile back and found this nice specimen.

False MorelFalse MorelFalse MorelFalse MorelFalse MorelFalse MorelFalse Morel

This one is known as the Snowbank False Morel, (Gyromitra gigas) and is said to be edible, but I have been advised to not eat it. I think mostly because it is easily confused with other false morels that should not be eaten. A great find either way and I have been to forays where others have found this beautiful mushroom, but this was a first for me!

Drying and Storing Oyster Mushrooms

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.

fresh oysters on drying wrackfresh oysters on drying wrack

After a few day of drying the mushrooms looked like this. Notice how they have shrunken up since mushrooms are mostly water!

dryed oysters on drying wrackdryed oysters on drying wrack

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!

Eating and Storing Oyster Mushrooms

After successful harvest of oyster mushrooms grown on coffee grounds, the enjoyable job of  cooking and storing the harvest begins!

Oyster Mushrooms Growing on Coffee GroundsOysters Growing on Coffee Grounds

The first thing to do was to eat them and see how they taste. Oysters change flavor a little when grown on different hosts, and I was curious how the coffee would affect it. The mushrooms were torn in small strips and fried in canola oil.

Oysters frying in oiloysters in oiloysters on platefryed oyster closeup

They were delicious! I think they were a little sweeter than the others I have eaten. The texture was firm but not woody at all. We decided to try them dusted with flour and cooked with a little butter added to the oil.

fryed oysters with flouroysters fryed with flour

They were delicious also and held up to the process very well. We will cover saving the excess next!