Disclaimer for Kids: don't eat wild mushrooms. Bad idea.
So below is a red bolete, poking out of the duff. I like how they hide.
And these are candy caps (lactarius rubidus) - which are amazing in cookies and even homemade ice cream.
And a tiny shrimp russela - considered "choice" but we just took photos.
But the real winner last week was amanita muscaria.
Yes, this is the smurf mushroom, the original Christmas present under the pine tree, the friend of many Siberian shamans. They were all over the place the week before Christmas!
Here's another amazing one:
Little hider. For more background into the psycho-mythic past of amanita muscaria, check out this post by Feral Kevin.
How to Prepare Amanita Muscaria to Eat
We ate them. Yes, they're poisonous/visionary as is, but we didn't want to go that road so here's how we safely ate the amanita muscarias without any ill effects:
1. Brush loose dirt off freshly picked mushrooms
2. cut them into slices like chicken strivulets
3. boil them for 15-20 minutes in a pot. The muscimol and related toxins are water-soluble so this renders the flesh edible.
4. Pour out the water and do what you will with that. Siberian shaman used to drink reindeer piss to get at these psychotropic compounds - just sayin'.
5. Sauté the mushroom flesh like you treat meat or tofu. We used butter.
6. Eat! The taste is amazing - I kept saying "this tastes like delicious chicken strivulets." A little salt helps too. Eat over rice, as a side, or in a salad.
I usually don't recommend the eating of wild mushrooms so glibly, but this is about the one mushroom in the world that is easily recognizable and has no deadly look-a-likes. After all, amanita muscaria is technically poisonous, so you've been warned. Do your homework and have a mushroom expert on hand whenever cooking wild mushrooms.