mushroom hunters of the pacific northwest

when you meet someone for the first time and you tell them you had a "lord of the rings-ian experience" on a rowboat yesterday, and their response is to inquire if you'd like to do another lord of the rings-ian adventure tomorrow and go mushroom hunting for chanterelles, you can be damn near positive you're going to like this person.

josh powell is the kind of guy with a beard and a smile that makes you immediately think, "yes, i will go into the forest with you for hours, finding potentially poisonous or psychedelic edibles in the hopes that ingesting them for dinner in a vegan cream sauce will not kill me or leave me wandering in a hallucinogenic haze for 12 hours straight, but will only be, in fact, delicious."

after a hearty meal at the wayward cafe, josh picked us up with a bucket full of books and tools and we drove northward to north bend, the town where twin peaks was filmed and also modeled after, home of the double r diner with the famous cherry pie and sporting two actual peaks, you know, the ones during the intro.

josh had a book THIS THICK (a good three inches) just chock full of mushroom information. fortunately, instead of having to read this in the back seat during the hour drive, i just bombarded josh with a shitload of questions and he more than happily obliged. here are a few we spotted on our jaunt:

chicken of the woods, not to be confused with hen of the woods
we picked this one! totes edible

this was the only totally "do not mess with this mushroom"
mushroom that we found on the hike,
spotted by yours truly! those little dots are bad news,
no matter what mario tells you

the artist conch is called so and so cool
because the underside is super soft
and you can write stuff on it with your fingernail

lobster mushrooms are not only beautiful,
they are also quite expensive,
plus we found like 20!

at this point, my extremely unreliable camera bit the dust and i couldn't take any more pictures of our hike. call me a bad blogger if you will, but get this, i had a backup battery and THAT was dead too! i tried to be prepared, i really did.

fast forward to dinner at josh's house where he was whipping up some fierce vegan cream sauce with lobster mushrooms, fettucini, garlic bread with angel mushrooms and a big old salad. ah, gourmet delicacies on a forager's budget.

to (literally) top it off, josh brought out a little saucer of ground white pepper and pink sea salt. be still my beating...stomach.


1 comment:

Jeni Treehugger said...

Oooh yummy! I've been wanting to try lobster mushrooms for ages, never had the opportunity yet. That psata looks ridiculously good.