Saturday, October 10, 2020

October in New York

Seaside Solidago sempervirens, on a quiet afternoon with dunes and waves and birds.

This solidago (a.k.a. goldenrod) is late to bloom, and even here at the beach, honey bees found it.

Nearby were autumn olive trees (very invasive Elaeagnus umbellata), heavy with fruit. I love eating them straight up. They are reminiscent of red currants, slightly sweeter, but more tannic.

And October is always hen month: hen of the woods, maitake (Japanese for "dancing mushroom"- because of the happy dance it inspires). Grifola frondosa is a wonderful mushroom for beginners to find, because it is so distinctive. And if you find a nice fresh one, it can weigh upwards of five pounds, easily, so there is ample opportunity to experiment in the kitchen. Some of my standard ways to deploy it include red wine soup (lots of sautéed mushroom, onion, some good bacon, a little flour, lots of red wine, bay leaves), and mushroom shepherd's pie. I think this one may become sausageless rolls, as in mushroom rolls.

These mushrooms grow on living trees, which are they slowly but surely killing. I chanced upon this one on a tree that gave me hens almost ten years ago. 

So mark the spot - they will appear again.


Forage, Harvest, Feast - A Wild-Inspired Cuisine


  1. Last weekend art our cabin I lucked upon a giant puffball the size of my head!! I thought it was a lost volleyball from the near by camp LOL And miracle of miracles, it was solid inside, not worm mined at all. We grilled puffball steaks, we had sauted mushroom in our morning omelets, and I dehydrated the rest for later. It was delicious.

    1. It's always exciting to find a good puffball! I like making puffball dust with the dried pieces (good in baking!).


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