"My, oh my!"
As the late, great Seattle sportscaster Dave Niehaus used to say at key moments in Mariner ballgames, "My, oh my!" That's how I feel about this fall's mushrooming season.
We spent the afternoon of October 9th at our favorite matsutake spot on Mt. Hood. Around the 3,000-4,000' elevation, the air was cool and uninviting, but the forest floor welcomed us with a crop of newly fruited matsutakes. In very short order, we gathered an impressive basketful of the fragrant fungi, which we dehydrated upon returning to Port Orford. We prepared the tough stems separately from the sliced caps so that we could conveniently powder them for use in coatings and seasoning mixes.
We'll be donating the sliced caps and powdered stems of the matsutakes to the 73rd Annual Wild Game Banquet, which will most likely be held at the Monarch Hotel in Clackamas again this Spring. Steven's the banquet mycologist and a long-time part of the chef-for-a-day crew for the charity event, which raises money for the Boys & Girls Club of Portland, the Friends of the Children, and the Boys and Girls Aid Society of Oregon.
But, wait, there were more than matsutakes in them there woods! Stately king boletes and white chanterelles weren't going to be outdone by the matsutakes. They, too, were abundant in our usual harvesting areas on the mountain.
The stem - conical at its base - is an important identifier for matsutaki.