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On a recent visit to our local Heinen’s grocery store I noticed a profusion of choices in mushroom jerky. They had a brand featured on Shark Tank (Pan’s Mushroom Jerky), so I bought a package of their original recipe and passed it around at a mini-foray. It got favorable reviews, so I decided to try my hand at making my own. I know the carnivores in the group are saying really; why waste your time? This is a mushroom blog, after all, so why not? There are any number of websites with jerky marinades and recipes and they all share a common theme of including fat, acid, salt, heat and sugar. I picked this marinade mainly because I had the ingredients on hand and it’s a similar marinade to one I use for a salmon poke bowl recipe.
8 oz fresh mushrooms
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1/2 tablespoon chili garlic paste
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon smoke paprika
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
My local farmers market sells an Oyster mushroom medley (8 oz for $7), so I used them and tore them into pieces for the marinade. I initially tried slicing them, but it was less work to just tear them. I didn’t need to brush dirt off the mushrooms since they were already pristine from the grower. I kept the pieces fairly large as they will shrink somewhat after they are dehydrated. I soaked the mushrooms in the marinade overnight and almost all of it was absorbed into the mushrooms.
I spread the mushrooms evenly on a couple of dehydrator trays using parchment paper underneath and set the dryer for 140F. After 2 hours, I turned over each piece and waited another 2 hours. The result was semi-moist and chewy. You can go longer if you want a drier result, but this is a good starting point.
The jerky was very tasty and the texture was surprisingly good considering that a cooked oyster mushroom is slimy and flaccid. There was a nice balance of heat and sweet, but the marinade I chose was too salty and overpowering (there is a 1/4 cup of soy concentrated into a few ounces of dried mushrooms). This is similar to beef jerky products I’ve tried in the distant past and it would be fair to say (in this case) that the mushrooms were a convenient fiber delivery system for the marinade. I definitely want to try this again, but I will try marinades that showcase more of the umami flavor of the mushroom itself rather than rely on the marinade to carry the flavor.
Have you have ever made mushroom jerky? Feel free to share your experiences and recipes with us. – Jerry
There will be a number of opportunities this year to participate in bioblitz activities with Ohio Mushroom Society. Bioblitz is an effort to describe as many species as possible at a particular site. The information generated from such efforts is valuable in many ways. It allows property owners to compile a comprehensive list of species which can be helpful in protecting native species, managing invasive species, and planning land management strategies. Participation in a bioblitz helps visitors to the land understand features of that environment, and allows them to contribute to scientific understanding of the ecology. Often people that are knowledgeable in particular areas of science form teams that work together to find and identify as many species as they can.
In the case of our bioblitz activities this year we will foray for mushroom collection and identification as usual at the sites, and then contribute photographs and/or a list of species to the group hosting the bioblitz.
Opportunities to bioblitz this year will be June 14 at Towner’s Woods Park (private property), and June 9, July 13, August 25, September 15, October 13, and November 3 at the Athens district of the Wayne National Forest. Please see the Events page, and contact event leaders for details and to RSVP.
Our first biolblitz of the year attracted over 20 people, and we were able to name or photograph 24 fungal species. We visited a beautiful site at the Wayne National Forest and saw many spring wildflowers, a big box turtle, and lots of birds and insects as well as taking home some mushrooms for dinner. For our second biolblitz, at a different site on the Wayne, 11 people helped to collect and identify 25 fungal species. Our forays were part of a two year effort to document as many species as possible on the Wayne. On both days we had wonderful spring weather, explored new territory, and met new friends on our hikes.
So why not get out in the woods try some bioblitzes this year? This is your chance to contribute to the greater good, meet some kindred spirits, and learn about fungi while practicing our favorite pastime- mushroom hunting!
– Martha Bishop
We get occasional inquiries on recommended field guides which cover our region. Walt Sturgeon has published a new field guide through Ohio University Press which I highly recommend. Here is a link to a recent review from well known nature photographer Ian Adams. – Jerry Pepera
See below for some pictures from the Cinco De Mayo Mini-foray in Richfield.
Welcome to the April installment of Mushrooms of the Month.
Verpa conica by Walt Sturgeon
Morchella americana by Walt Sturgeon
Gyromitra korfii by Walt Sturgeon
Cerioporus squamosus by Walt Sturgeon
If you are interested in contributing to the mushrooms of the month please contact the web master using the contact form and he will provide you with submission information.
2018 Dick Grimm Memorial Banquet
This popular annual event will take place on Saturday, November 3, 6:30 p.m. at Wooster’s Broken Rocks restaurant. We will have our own room downstairs in the rustic-artistic Rox Gastropub, and enjoy the full menu of fresh, locally-sourced and lovingly prepared food.
We very much look forward to a presentation entitled The Rise of Yeast: How the Sugar Fungus Shaped Civilization, by British-born mycologist and university professor Nicholas P. Money. This man of letters is the author of many excellent books, including his latest, The Rise of Yeast, and historical fiction, as well as scientific papers.
Head to Wooster early to enjoy the annual Buckeye Book Fair, where you can purchase books by Nik and many other Ohio authors. It takes place 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. in Fisher Auditorium.
Please contact Debra Shankland at email@example.com or 440-263-2334 to reserve your spot for the Banquet. Space is limited!
2018 OMS Fall Foray
Dates: Oct 6-7, 2018
We look forward to returning to the rich and unique, 500-acre James H. Barrow Field Station of Hiram College, located in Portage County, for our annual Fall Foray. This living laboratory supports over 200 acres of mature Beech-Maple forest, along with other forest types and riparian habitats.
Our ongoing partnership with Hiram College has been very beneficial. It could even be considered symbiotic if that wasn’t such a corny mycological analogy! Seriously, engaging with Hiram students on this foray injects a great energy into the event, and the college faculty and staff have been wonderful hosts. The Field Station is just three miles away from the Hiram College campus.
In addition, we’ve secured permission at a private property, Camp Asbury, for our Sunday foray. Composed of a variety of mature and nurtured habitats, Camp Asbury always yields interesting and many different finds from those at the Field Station, which is only four miles away.
We are very fortunate to have author and outstanding field mycologist Walt Sturgeon as this foray’s mycologist and presenter. His illustrated program about “Edible Mushrooms on Wood” will be of interest to everyone. Winning national awards for his mushroom photography, Walt takes care in putting together presentations that are beautiful to look at, but also richly document the key features and habitats of the mushrooms that are included.
The Kennedy Observation Building at the Field Station will be our headquarters for this foray on Saturday. It can be accessed at 11305 Wheeler Road in Garrettsville, OH 44231, between State Routes 82 and 305. To download a map and directions, go to http://www.hiram.edu/academics/support-services/field-station/map-and-directions/
On Sunday we will commute by car caravan over to Camp Asbury to meet with camp director, ecologist, and foray guide, Rev. Bill Graham.
Space for those seeking on-site accommodations at the Field Station is very limited. Advance registration for those wishing to camp onsite is required by contacting foray coordinator Debra Shankland between August 30 – October 3 only. You can call 440-263-2334 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to register or get additional information.
Schedule of events
Friday, October 5
Limited primitive camping at the Observation Building available beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 6
9 a.m. Registration and coffee at the Observation Building
9:40 a.m. Welcome and orientation
10 a.m. – 12N Morning forays
12:15 – 1 p.m. Potluck lunch (please see “What to Bring” below)
1:30 – 2 p.m. Illustrated discussion of “Edible Mushrooms on Wood” by Walt Sturgeon
2:15 – 4:15 Afternoon forays
5:15 – 5:40 Table talk concerning noteworthy collected specimens
6:10 p.m. Dinner at The Brick in Garrettsville (go to FreddyBurger.com to see the menu)
Sunday, October 7
9 – 10:30 a.m. Coffee & light breakfast at the Observation Building; review collections
10:30 – ? Clean up
11:15 a.m. – 1 p.m. Final foray at Camp Asbury in Hiram
1 – 1:40 p.m. ID & discussion of finds
2 p.m. Farewell!
Limited, primitive on-site camping at the Observation Building is allowed free of charge on October 5 & 6 only. There are no developed camping facilities here, so you must be self-sufficient. There is a single restroom in the Observation Building. Showers are available for our group at the athletic center on campus. Contact Debra for more information, or to reserve a spot.
The Hiram Inn (http://www.thehiraminn.com) is right on Hiram’s campus two miles from the Field Station. This beautifully renovated century-and-a-half home is located on the corner of SR 700, SR 82 and SR 305.
Bed and Breakfast accommodations in picturesque Burton include the Red Maple Inn and Goodwin House. Plan to spend $125+ per night.
Unique and affordable places to stay may be found on airbnb. Begin your search in Garrettsville, Hiram, and Burton.
WHAT TO BRING
Please know that the Kennedy Observation Building is a learning lab for the Field Station and was not built with banquet facilities nor large groups in mind. Space will be snug but with everyone’s help and cooperation in changing room setups, we have found it to be adequate. Thanks in advance for remembering this! That said, you’ll find these supplies very helpful to bring along:
- Refillable water bottle
- Reusable coffee/tea mug
- Food/drink to share at the potluck; please make sure it’s ready to serve–there is just one dorm-size refrigerator and one sink, but there are plenty of electric outlets available.
- Utensils and knives needed to serve your potluck item; cooler if necessary.
- Cash for a donation (Forays are free, but your generosity buys coffee, paper products, nametags, goodwill for our hosting institutions, speaker expenses, and more. Thank you!)
- Basket (paper bag can do in a pinch)
- Sharp knife
- Mushroom field guide(s)
- Notepad and pencil/pen
- Hat, rain gear, change of shoes/boots
My son Phil and I take a couple of backpacking trips every year and, usually, we section hike portions of the AT. This year we were somewhat limited on time (long weekend) and decided to hike the gorgeous 30 mile West Rim Trail between Ansonia and Blackwell, PA. This hike has been labelled the “Grand Canyon of the East” and the “Best Hike in Pennsylvania”. I’ve hiked quite a few trails in central and western PA including Minister Creek, North Country Trail, Laurel Highlands, Old Loggers Trail, Black Moshannon, Black Forest trail, Ricketts Glen and Michaux State Forest on the AT near the PA/ Maryland border. The West Rim Trail stands out for its natural beauty and 1,000 foot scenic vistas above the Pine Creek gorge. Hiking in PA is not for everyone as it is very rocky and challenging on your feet. On one of our AT hikes, we met a through hiker that mentioned that if she ever hiked the AT again she would fly over Pennsylvania. Sadly, Ohio doesn’t have a single backpacking trail I can recommend as I would describe them as mostly bulldozer trails that are not worth your time (Wayne National Forest, Zaleski State Forest). At any rate, we hiked the West Rim Trail under some very wet conditions and there was a profusion of pristine mushrooms everywhere we stepped. I’m only sorry I didn’t bring some olive oil and a lightweight frying pan. See below for a sampling of our experience.
For a 3D PhotoSphere of one of the scenic overlooks follow the link below. Once it loads just click on the image and you can scroll/pan around- Jerry Pepera
I thought I would share this very handy beginners key for the Boletes. It was given to me by Ernst Both some years ago and is organized in a clear logical way which I find to be very useful. – Jerry