There’s still time to pick mushrooms

Summer is over but there’s still time to pick mushrooms. I’ve been picking a few boletes, goatsbeards and new to me, chicken of the woods. The nice stretch of weather has helped up my annual take. The first frost usually happens the first or second week of September out here but here we are in the first week of October and still frost-free. I’m grateful. I haven’t found any chanterelles in a couple of weeks.

When trying a mushroom that’s new to you always, and I can’t stress always enough, try just a little the first time. If it agrees with you, have more next time. Perfectly edible, non-poisonous mushrooms might not agree with you.

Goatsbeard mushroom

Goatsbeard mushroom

Goatsbeards will continue into November. It’s nice to have fresh venison and mushrooms. I sear the meat in butter (never margarine), remove it from the pan, saute the mushrooms in the same pan, and briefly return the meat to the pan to finish cooking. Delicious, especially with a side of fresh winter squash.

I’m excited about chicken of the woods. It’s the second of three new-to-me mushrooms I’ll try this year. Steve spotted them growing on a dying oak tree this week. We had to go back with a ladder to get them and still couldn’t reach all of them. They grow on hardwoods and appear starting in August and lasting through October or maybe even into early November. Steve cut eight pounds of them off the tree, filling the plastic grocery bag.

Chicken of the Woods

I’m going to saute a small piece for supper, keep some in the fridge for soup, and freeze the rest. It reportedly freezes well. If you have a recipe or suggestion on how to use this I’d appreciate the help. It’s easy to leave a comment or email me.

While I hunt for partridge later today I’ll be looking for lobster mushrooms. I’ve seen them in one particular places for several years but thought they weren’t edible. Hopefully they’re there again this year. I’ll be happy with one for now.

Robin Follette

About Robin Follette

Maine Press Association award winner, 2013. Robin's Outdoors, Bangor Daily News, third place in Sports blogs. I grew up with a fishing pole in my hand and have always loved the outdoors. From gardening to hunting and fishing, kayaking, camping, hiking and foraging, most of my time is spent outdoors. I teach outdoor skills as a volunteer instructor for Hooked On Fishing - Not On Drugs and Becoming an Outdoors-Woman. Pro-staff at The Limb Grip. My personal blog is here. I'm currently working on my first book, a collection of short stories based on my outdoors experiences.