Our Random Acts of Gardening mushroom adventure (see the November 1 post) converted seven gardeners into mushroom explorers. Steve Schmidt, Sustainable Consulting LLC, started us with a lesson in using a compass and edible mushroom recognition before heading into the Mt. Hood National Forest. Hedgehogs—including the largest one Steve’s ever seen, a whopping 6 inches in diameter—were the first edible mushrooms spotted. Then the Chanterelles obliged, including whites and Yellow Foot. As we started to head back to the cars, I heard whoops and cheers as the group stumbled upon a host of Lobster mushrooms poking through the forest floor. Then there were the jelly mushrooms, which look like translucent jelly fish and edible though essentially tasteless; Steve says you can use them in fruit salad but I tossed mine after tasting them.
While Random Acts of Gardening won’t be offering another mushroom adventure any time soon, Steve hosts private and group tours. The season is done for this year but morels start popping in spring. To arrange your own guided mushroom tour, contact Steve at 503.637.3095 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m looking forward to making creamy Chanterelle pasta and a Velvet Chanterelle soup recipe Steve shared with the group!