I've been to manic to drive so I'm not getting out into the woods much. I almost caused a terrible wreck in Aberdeen last weekend when I failed to see a red light. That was really scary. I'm a bus driver by trade so it really feels bad to not be a safe driver anymore. I hope I come down enough to be able to safely drive myself to campus and back when college starts up again.
I made it out yesterday though and had a nice outing with my kids. We did not have to go very far into the National Forest to find a bunch of white chanterelles and a huge lobster mushroom. We also found some mushrooms that look almost exactly like King Boletes and taste a bit like them too. We are not sure if they are actual king boletus but we call them Kings anyway and we were very excited to find them.
Aspen/Birch boletus are growing in a yard in town but the slugs have gotten to all of them. Interestingly a Poison Paxillus mushroom grows in that yard two. Last night in the dark I crept up on two of these mushrooms only to grab a slug each time. YUCK! I guess I better stalk them during the day.
I've not found any shaggy manes yet this year but I know of a place in Olympia where they grow in abundance so I'll be getting them soon.
We already have more chanterelles then we know what to do with and we have not finished off the ones we dried last fall. There is a chanterelle recipe contest here and I can not help but laugh at how fancy most of the submitted recipes are. For something that I can get all I want of out in the woods for free every year these recipes seem like a pretty extravagant way to go. I have to feel sorry for city folk who can't get free oysters and mushrooms. I used to live in Downtown Seattle so I know how that goes.
Quick Family Meal from the Woods
3 slices of bacon
About 15 chanterelle mushrooms
Sharp Cheddar Cheese (Grated)
Frozen mixed vegetables
First fry the Chanterelles at a medium heat until all of the water has evaporated then set the mushrooms to the side. Fry the bacon and chop it into quarter sized pieces, do not drain the grease when the bacon is done add some of what ever frozen veggies you happen to have in your freezer this week and add the mushrooms back in and bacon grease add eggs and grated cheddar cheese. Mix it all together and cook it until the eggs are firm and the vegetables are hot. Season with salt, pepper and hot wing sauce to taste.
Normally this time of year I go up the Skokomish Rez and get some cheap King salmon to put in my smoker. Kings are my favorite and they are much cheaper on the rez, I would not dream of paying grocery store prices for them. But this year they are selling for $4.00 a pound whole. I'm sure that's a great deal compared to what you would pay in the store but it still makes Kings too expensive for us this year. A 20 pound king would cost $60.00! Maybe I'll just get some chum to smoke, I can usually get that for 50 cents a pound on the rez, and I supposed it will be a dollar a pound this year though.
The price of corn at Hunter farms has gone up too, last year it was 4 ears for a dollar but this year it is three for a dollar. I wonder if the government can turn some of that subsided ethanol back into corn? For as long as I can remember corn was 8 ears for a dollar but those days are long gone. At least gas at the Arco is back down to $3.69 per gallon. I remember when gas cost less then $1.00 a gallon though.