Well, after Nathan lived after eating mushrooms from his yard, I was a little envious. I had recently digested some shrooms, and then had a little scare and even went out and bought activated charcoal for a little home treatment. It turns out that I would have had to consume over a bottle and a half of caplets for a single dose, and they usually treat with a dose every hour for 4 to 12 hours. At $10 a bottle, it seemed a little steep, but hey, my liver is worth more than that. That particular incident was a convergence of several possible gastrointestinal hazzards, so it was hard to know exactly what it was. There was the flu that was going around at work… I had eaten quite a bit of roasted chicken, which I am some what allergic to when it is cooked with the skin on… We had just had large salads made from organic spinach, only a week after the spinich e. coli scare… I ate some mushrooms that I was pretty sure were *Lepista nuda* or Wood Blewitts, which are poisonous if uncooked, but I cooked them, but then they sat in the fridge for a week or so. Anyway, it did make me think a little harder about putting fungus in my mouth.
So then when I was picking A up from school on Wednesday I noticed several Shaggy mane (*Coprinus comatus*) on the grass between the parking lots. I started picking them as I waited and chatted with B on the phone. I found 5 good ones, and as we were driving out of the parking lot we noticed that there was a whole field more. We stopped and made several trips, returning with handfuls. In the end I had a nice pile in the passenger seat.
When we arrived home I threw out a few that were already showing signs of turning to ink (ie. they were showing shades of grey on the gills). I took the rest in and washed them and cut off any parts that looked bad.
They really looked pretty good, and seemed like they would make good eating. The ones that I prepared were all still young, and in the button stage, meaning that the cap had not pulled away from the stem much yet. They were white throughout, and had a ring on the stem where the cap connected. The outside of the cap was shaggy, and shed some of it’s scales when handled.
I sliced them into quarters lengthwise and sautéd them in butter. They had a lot of water content, and made a wonderful sauce. I did add just a little garlic and then put them in a container in the freezer after trying a bite.
Yesterday I found more Shaggy mane in the park, and cooked them up too. But rather than putting off the inevitable, I added them to my stir fry. They were very tasty. At one point though, my hands and legs felt a little tingly, and the ringing in my ears stopped. I felt suddenly clear headed, and generally good. I think it may have been my sinuses emptying out after the chili-black-bean sauce I added to the meal. Anyway, it seemed to be a success.
I may try the Blewitts again soon; there is another batch growing under the blue spruce…