ANNUAL FUNGUS HUNT

Having survived eating last years fungi I have been out again collecting what I can. My style is cramped by the number of Eastern Europeans, for whom, I gather, collecting wild edible fungi amounts to a national pastime. I did manage to find a couple of cauliflower fungi; following my usual path of not eating anything which looks anything like a mushroom I felt that this one at least can’t be mistaken for anything else ( yes I know that there is a bit of a lookalike which lives by Birch but even I can tell a Pine tree when I see one!)

Now it is pretty distinctive, if you dont know what it looks like then take a look at these pics.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sparassis

The main problem seems to be cleaning it! I divided up into florets, thoroughly washed them, ate some and tried to dry some. I gather it dries well, I suspect I need a bit more practice in this critical area. I really need an airing cupboard and my house doesn’t have central heating on this time of year. I thought I would try putting it in a low oven, a disaster…. it went all soggy and had to be thrown out. I also tried drying some in a basket in the kitchen, this was more succesful but I still had small amounts of mould. So the hunt is on to find a way to dry cauliflower mushrooms in my new house.   I dont expect you can microwave it, like flowers, although I will look on the net to see. I also got quite a few Bay Bolete and Ceps, probably enough for the year. Storing them so they dont get mouldy will again require some thought. These dried more easily

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