It started in the North Cascades. We were on a long, rainy hike when we stumbled upon a lion's mane mushroom-- huge, toothy, firm, and heavy from the downpour. It smelled like a mix of sweet cream and the forest floor. It was the size of my head and just finding one felt like a jackpot. But then we started seeing more, and couldn't resist hauling out several.
That night we cooked some of the lion's mane with dinner, adding it to lamb carnitas. The rest of the week I was on a serious mission to use them up: sautéed with bacon, added into lasagna, folded into a frittata, and simmered in Tom Kha soup.
Puget Sound Mycological Society. Their Mushroom Hunting 101 class covered ID skills, foraging best practices, toxicology, cooking with mushrooms, and non-edible mushroom uses. It was a really comprehensive course that I would recommend to anyone. Of course, there is so much to learn that we barely scratched the surface, but I think it gave me a good foundation.
|Huge array of local mushrooms|
brought in by the students
|Cauliflower mushroom. Image from here.|