I can’t believe we drove 570 miles to hunt for mushroom! Even for someone like me who loves mushrooms, that’s a little crazy. 🙂
I’ve talked about why I love mushrooms so much before (post #72 and 91). And I’ve wanted to learn to identify the edible ones, especially after seeing countless mushrooms of all sizes, colors, and shapes in Alaska. Now, I got my chance—George, a friend I made while I volunteered at Food Bank, told me about a mushroom club and invited me to join their Annual Mushroom Foray. I didn’t even know where we were going before I said yes. 🙂
White Mountains is 3-4 hours away from Sedona, in central east Arizona. George, Phil, and I left Friday and camped in Fool Hollow Lake Recreation Area near Show Low that night. The camp ground is near a small lake. We built a camp fire and sat around talking, enjoying the peaceful nature. So many stars twinkled in the velvet sky; the Milky Way was clearly discernible; I even saw a couple of shooting stars.
Arizona Mushroom Club is a pretty large group. At least 60 people showed up for the annual foray. George introduced me to a couple who had over 20 years of experience in mushroom gathering, and I followed them for several hours. Terry and Josy were so nice and patient with me. By the end of the day, I picked over half a dozen different types of edible mushrooms. “You’ve got 10 pound of mushrooms! What are you going to do, Ching?” Phil who didn’t like mushroom had no idea how one could handle so much mushrooms at once.
Well, as soon as we came back on Saturday night, I separated them by type and I got up bright early the next day to cook them! Oaky, I cooked most, dried some, and froze a little.
Oh, I didn’t eat all I cooked. According to the expert in the club, one shouldn’t eat any type of mushroom, even confirmed edible ones, in large quantity at once. “One man’s food might be another man’s poison,” he explained. One should do a “taste test”—eat a tea spoon, wait 8 hours, eat a table spoon, wait 8 hours, eat half a handful, wait 8 hours, then eat a handful. I truly doubt I will follow his instruction closely. But I will certainly do some test before I eat them all. If you don’t hear from me in a week or so, then I might be in trouble. 🙂 “Death by mushroom” cannot be a good way to go!
PS. I don’t have pictures of all the mushrooms I have seen or picked. I was too busy trying to identify and collect them.
(Lobster Mushroom -edible)
(Hawk Wing or Hedgehog – edible)
(Scaly Pholiota or Garlic Mushroom – edible)
(King Bolete – edible)
(Oyster Mushroom – edible)
(Cauliflower Mushroom -edible)