Busy Weekend with Mushroom & Beers

I feel like I have not really had a quiet laid back weekend in many weeks.  Not that this is a bad thing, becuase usually i means I am doing something rather entertaining, but it is just the way my life feels right now.  This past weekend was really no different.

Saturday happened to be the correspondance of two of the organizations I am a member of: S.C.U.M.S. (South Carolina Upstate Mycology Society) and the Upstate Brewtopians (a home brewing group).  Both happened to be having their  monthly meetings in Clemson, which was quite convenient really. Sso I got up early on Saturday morning and went down to Clemson and would spend about nine hours there.

For S.C.U.M.S. we went on a foray at the Clemson experimental forest.  Considering all the rain we have had over the previous two or two and a half weeks I would have thought that we would have found more mushrooms, but really the finding was only rather modest in comparison of some of the big collections I have walked away from.  On the upside, the most commonly found mushroom of the day was a whole bunch of bicolored boletes (Boletus bicolor) which happen to be one of the better know, and relatively easy to identify, kinds of edible wild mushrooms (as I’ve mentioned before, never take my advice on what is and isn’t edible, you should always consult expert resources carefully before eating any wild mushrooms — we had two profesional mycologists with us who could give thumbs up on the bicolors being good to eat).  Here are a few pictures of our finds:

The pore surface of a bicolor bolete bruises very quickly with just the slightest pressure.  Tradd took the time to write out our groups acronym on this one

The pore surface of a bicolor bolete bruises very quickly with just the slightest pressure. Tradd took the time to write out our groups acronym on this one

The big pile of like mushrooms in the center are all the bicolor finds. The rest are just random other mushrooms

The big pile of like mushrooms in the center are all the bicolor finds. The rest are just random other mushrooms

I can't remember what we identified this one, which I found, as, but I do recall that it had a very slimy yellow cap.

I can't remember what we identified this one, which I found, as, but I do recall that it had a very slimy yellow cap.

After mushroom forging we all went and got food at the Clemson Mellow Mushroom (clever right? It gets better).  Without really thinking about it I ordered a personal favorite of mine, the mushroom club sandwich (do you get it?).  It was Tradd who first noted it.  Julia (one of the mycologists) suggested we should be required to eat them after every meeting.

After lunch I went to hang out with the Upstate Brewtopians crowd for a little while.  It was a small group this month but still fun to sit around, try some good homebrews, and just talk about beer.  There was also some really good bbq pork sandwiches, which I have no complaints about.

Finally the day wrapped up and I returned to Greenville, tired but very satisfied.

Yesterday (that day being Sunday) I helped Evan bottle up his Bourban Barrel Olde Ale (I don’t know if the old actually is meant to have an e on the end of it, but I think it it is appropriate).  This is a beer that Evan has brewed before and I am really excited that he has made it again.  Unfortunately it is a long brewing beer and even though it is in bottles now Evan does not intend to crack them open until sometime in December.  I think all of us who tried the first batch eagerly await that month.

Evan and I also cooked up some of the bicolors we had found on Saturday.  What we did was to make a thick gravy with the bicolors, which was based off a regular button mushroom gravy, but with the bicolors had a much more earthy and distinct flavor.  Then we took small cuts of steak (and tofu for Meg and Mad), dipped them in eggs, coated them in ground chanterelles (see here for our previous success with these delightful shrooms), and then quickly pan seared them.  The steak and tofu was served with the bicolor gravy on top and also some ginger glazed, organically grown carrots (thank you Meg for picking them) on the side.  Holy cow it was a delightful meal.  It is just another meal that I think could fetch some big bucks in a fancy restaurant.

And today is Monday, and I have to go to work in a few minutes.  I’m sure I’ll be posting something more soon.

~ by Nathaniel on August 10, 2009.

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