wordsfromanneli

Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.

Oyster Mushrooms

29 Comments

We had a nice surprise today. A friend had been out in the woods picking oyster mushrooms and had a bunch to give us.

I’ve picked chanterelles but I didn’t know much about oyster mushrooms so I’ve never picked them. With mushrooms, you can’t take chances because many kinds of mushrooms have lookalikes and many of those can make you very sick (or worse).

So here is a picture the friend took to show us how they grow. See them there on the trunk of that dead alder tree?

The pictures were all taken by my friend with his phone, except for the two photos in my kitchen.

If you thought mushrooms always grow on the ground, think again. Here they are again, going way up the tree.

They almost look round like a tennis ball, but if you look carefully, you’ll see that they are flat and often seem to grow overlapping each other.

Because they are off the ground, they are much easier to clean than chanterelles.

I just took a pastry brush and cleaned off a few specks of dirt. No need to wash them and make them soggy.  My dryer has five layers so I filled those up with the flat mushrooms and gave my attention to the rest of them which, temporarily, are spread out on a couple of baking sheets. (They are not going to be baked.)

I put a tiny bit of butter in a pan and put the mushroom pieces in it. This is just the start of what I put in the pan. I filled the pan enough so the whole bottom of the pan is filled. One thing I learned is that it is much easier to tear oyster mushrooms than to cut them.

Once they were sauteed just until they were cooked through, I put them in a big bowl to cool off while I cooked the next batch. After the sauteed mushrooms were all cool, I put them into plastic tubs and froze them. The sauteeing ensures that the mushrooms are not rubbery when you thaw them out to add to stir fries or gravy or whatever dish you want them to be in.

A couple of the bigger pieces were perfect for adding to a sandwich. So good!

If you find the energy to go out into the woods to look for mushrooms, you might be rewarded with the sighting of a large animal – at least the sight of its hind end. I’ll spare you the guesswork – it’s an elk.

Paved road, wildlife viewing, and a load of mushrooms for dinner. What could be better?

Author: wordsfromanneli

Writing, travel, photography, nature, more writing....

29 thoughts on “Oyster Mushrooms

  1. Great photos of the oyster mushrooms, Anneli. Our region in the interior is also a mushroom paradise. In the spring we gather the morels, and in the fall we enjoy eating lobster, pine, and chanterelle mushrooms.

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    • I’ve had morels twice and they are really good, but they don’t usually grow on the island much. I had a few incidentals in my yard one time. But isn’t it a treat to have wild mushrooms practically from our backyard? Good to hear that you have them growing there.

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  2. I agree; it doesn’t get much better than that! I love mushrooms, but I haven’t been out to pick them for many years, and even then I was with someone who knew much more than me. I love your photos and thanks for sharing the process you used to preserve them.

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  3. That was amazing. I’ve never seen that before, Anneli, though I’ve read of them. Thank you.

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  4. We never picked them because we thought that they are not edible. I guess it is hard to get them dry, they look so wet, but pretty. I wonder how they taste.

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  5. I didn’t know that these mushrooms grew in trees. It looks like you’ve got a lot of tasty cooking ahead! I love mushrooms 😊.

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    • I think the trees have to be dead to feed the oyster mushrooms. Most other mushrooms are on the ground, but you see some on dead stumps of trees. I love mushrooms too, and I like going out picking them, but haven’t gone for a long time.

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  6. I’ve picked chanterelles too, Anneli, but never oyster mushrooms. I need to start looking for them. Mushrooms are very tricky. My husband considered growing them, and we just might do that one of these years. Yum.

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    • If you have the right conditions, growing them would be an interesting challenge. Whenever I’ve gone chanterelle picking I hardly sleep the night before – worrying about cougars and bears, but once I get out there, I forget all about that. It’s so great to be out there.

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  7. Have seen many trees with the oyster mushrooms this cool, damp spring. Have never eaten them, and you have enlightened us. Remember the afternoons we hiked through the woods, successfully filling our bags with chanterelle mushrooms; you found a large cauliflower mushroom on of those afternoons. Good memories.

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  8. These are amazing. And so very beautiful. I imagine they taste wonderful. My grandmother and her relatives used to like to go mushrooming, but it didn’t get passed down to my mother’s generation or mine. Anyway, I am such a fraidy cat that I am terrified I would make a mistake. Just like I’m afraid of air fryers haha.

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  9. I’m too nervous about my identification skills. I’d kill myself eating wild mushrooms 🤣 but they are pretty cool pictures. Enjoy!

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  10. They looked like barnacles on the trees and almost like potato chips on the cookie sheets. I’ve never heard of these mushrooms. I doubt any of those grow where I live. Thanks for the lesson, Mrs. Purchase. 😊

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  11. Wow. Just wow. I’ve seen mushrooms on trees, but honestly didn’t know that they’re edible. Looks delish.

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