Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Summer Harvest Begins

I installed a new hard drive and reinstalled lost software onto my ailing computer. It is again humming at top proficiency. So, as a kind of inaugural post, I will show what's growing in my front yard as the summer season begins:

This is Lactarius camphoratus, the Aromatic Milk Cap. It is very aromatic and used to add a spicy, curry-like or maple syrup flavor to dishes. The aroma becomes more intense after drying, afterward the mushroom is ground and used as a spice. This is very similar to the Candy Cap found in the western U.S. Some have argued with me that Candy Caps (L. rubidus) are not found in the east, but this thing comes extremely close to the revered mushroom of the west.

This is Craterellus fallax, the Black Trumpet. I was pleasantly surprised by the number of these coming up, scattered around the oaks in my front yard. They are delicious and dry well, to be used in dishes at a later time.

Here are the Aromatic Milk Caps and Black Trumpets together in my mushroom basket. These were gathered quickly in the early evening on the day I found them. If the rest of the summer is as fruitful as this portends, I'll spend many a happy hour gathering.

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