About Me

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Cedar, Leelanau County, Michigan (near Traverse City), United States
I am a 76 year old (born 7/4/1937) retired Public Radio Engineer from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. Happily married to the love of my life, Teddy (nee Teddy Schlueter). Teddy is a retired Medical Records Clerk from Theda Clark Hospital in Neenah, Wisconsin. Two children, Michael and Lon. Lon passed away in 1994. Michael is married to his wonderful wife, Toni and lives in Appleton, Wisconsin. For photos click on link below or visit our photo site http://www.flickr.com/photos/igboo NOTE: Click on photos for full-size images.

Friday, October 19, 2012

I ate this...and I'm still alive!

A couple of weeks ago I noticed a strange growth that seemingly overnight appeared on a  weeping willow in our side yard. This is a very large old tree that has been there for years and the growth was about four feet from the ground on a scar from a large limb that had been broken off years ago.

As you can see from these photos it was bright yellow in color
and felt velvety to the touch. I had no idea what it was but my curiosity prompted me to post these picts on Flickr with the request for an identification and within a few hours two persons postulated that it might be the immature stage of the "Chicken of the Woods" fungus which internet research on my part seemed to confirm. And furthermore it was reputed to be an exceptionally tasty mushroom. Teddy, however  was convinced that if I were to eat it that she would be suddenly thrust into instant widowhood and began investigating social security survivor benefits. 

But, sure enough, within a couple of more days it had morphed into this which further convinced me that I had to try it. So armed with a sharp kitchen knife I cut into it and found the inside to be a solid mass with the consistency of soft cheese.

Ever cautious, I diced just a small handful and fried it in butter with a little salt and pepper and...WOW...it was freekin' delicious. 

I went back for more and was able to harvest a couple of pounds which I convinced Teddy to fry...and taste. She saved some for immediate use and froze the rest in small packets.

Now I love mushrooms, I like them on steak, pizza, omelets, soup, and as a pickled garnish in a martini. But the only ones that I have ever been confident enough to hunt and pick myself are morels and puffballs. Otherwise I have always relied on super market hunting to satisfy my taste for them. Now I have another variety for which to hunt. You can be sure that next spring and indeed all next summer, I'll be on the lookout for "Chicken of the Woods"

And, unbelievably, right in the middle of of our "Chicken of the Woods" adventure, Teddy came home from a walk with this large puffball which she also fried and froze. We find this a very convenient way to preserve 'shrooms, as they thaw quickly for an accompaniment to steaks or breakfast eggs.