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Last week we had many rainy days. I didn’t mind, as I was indoors most of the days, ideally under blankets to sweat off the nasty bug that I caught. It’s nice to have an excuse to be a bit lazy, but you know me and Ernesto. He loves to do things his way, which is always the opposite way. Tell Ernesto he can’t do something and he wants to do just that!
Luckily we have Axie Infinity now which is a nice 2 in 1 solution - work and fun together. So we played endless battles in arena and adventure and we had lots of laughter in the AxieBCH Mojo Discord group. It’s seriously my favourite place to be these days. Diving deeper and deeper into the SmartBCH sphere is also kinda 2 in 1, as I really enjoy the learning curve.
After a week of this fun, but also very static life I wanted to swap the kitchen floor and I felt pain in my lower back and also back of my tights. Oh no! I couldn’t even touch the floor with my hands without bending my knees. That is when I knew it was time to start exercising again. Nights are rather cold already here in England, but days are rather nice and sunny, so I decided it was time to visit my beloved forest.
To be honest I kinda forgot it was Tuesday, the day I usually go to my friend’s place to have a salsa class together, so of course I overdone it and today I am painful allover my legs and bum, but it’s that nice kind of pain which tells me I did something good for myself.
Walking to the forest I was really hoping to find some Porcini mushrooms. These are my very favourite of all mushrooms. Maybe Oysters only come close to the taste of Porcini. I was dreaming about eating them fried in butter 😍
First edibles I found were of course hedgehog mushrooms. These grow abundantly in our forest.
It seems as though not many people know they’re edible, which is great, because there is more for me 😅 To be honest I also didn’t know they were edible. From the distance they reminded me of chanterelle mushrooms and I was super excited to find one last year, only to leave it where I found it after I looked underneath the hat.
I know Chanterelle mushrooms very well, because I’ve been picking these since I was a child. They definitely don’t have spikes underneath their hats!
But last year was kinda magical mushrooms time for me. When I introduced my ex partner to the magical world of wild mushrooms, he got pretty obsessed with them.
He started reading and watching YouTube videos about mushrooms and even downloaded an app for mushrooms identification. That’s how we learned that Hedgehog mushrooms are cousins of Chanterelle’s and they are also edible. The name of course come from the spikes, which are very much hedgehog like.
I personally find the taste of Hedgehog Mushrooms nice, but also very strong. I can only eat so much of them, so yesterday I didn’t pick that many. Good thing is that they freeze well. Last year I fried them in butter and stored in the freezer and every time I picked them up and made scrambled eggs with them, the taste was the same as those freshly picked.
Of course not all mushrooms are safe for consumption by humans. Even though I’ve been mushroom foraging since I was a child, I only know a few species of edible mushrooms.
There might be more of them, but my general rule is that if I’m unsure, I leave them behind. I still like to take pictures of them, because fungi world is just so fascinating for me. Those above are a perfect example of it. I don’t know them, but they’re sure cute to capture.
There are some mushrooms that are genuinely get excited to see, even though they’re not edible. One of them is Amanita Muscaria (or Fly Agaric), a well know Super Mario mushroom as some call it.
Many people think, quite rightly so that these are poisonous mushrooms. Not many know that an adult would have to eat around 15 raw caps of these. Most of their toxicity can be reduced by boiling and in some countries people actually eat these cuties. Another fun fact is that they have hallucinogenic properties, so some people use it for tis purpose too. I must say that I’ve never been brave enough to try these or any other hallucinogenic mushrooms.
There are 2 reasons why I get excited seeing these. Firstly because they are so beautiful! You can spot them from a distance thanks to its cheerful and bright colour. Secondly because they often grow in close proximity to my favourite Porcini mushrooms, as they prefer similar conditions.
Of course this is not ALWAYS the case, but yesterday was my lucky day! When I spotted this little cutie, I started to look around more carefully and I found pieces of Porcini’s laying nearby. Squirrels also love Porcini’s and they also like to make a mess of them. They pick some pieces and discard the rest, little buggers.
Upon closer inspection I finally found these:
As you can see, the hat of one of them is bitten by the squirrel. I don’t mind though, as long as there is some left for me. They are a part of Boletus family and there are many edible mushrooms in this family. These can grow much much bigger and I would usually leave the little ones to grow some more, but yesterday I was just too eager to taste them fried in butter again after a year of waiting.
The little ones are also more tasty, so I was super excited. In general it is also not advisable to pick mushrooms that are not fully grown. This is due to the fact that it is easy to make mistake and pick the wrong mushroom before it is fully developed for identification. When it comes to these, I’m 99.99% sure what they are, because I picked them from the same spot I picked them last year.
Plus I’m still alive after I ate them last night! They were just as delicious as I remembered them.
That will be it for today. If you guys like this little introduction to mushrooms, I might write some more about other species I find in the nearby forest. Drop me a comment below.