Saturday, 19 November 2011

Drying the mushrooms

The mushrooms I was attempting to air dry weren't really getting any drier. I picked them before realising that the gills would need a good air flow around them, and I didn't leave a stalk. Thinking about it now, I could have perched the cap on a stick to dry, but I didn't think of that at the time. We had a good fire burning, and I thought I'd give heat drying a try.

I'd read that the gills go temporarily mushy when heated, and they should be placed top up to catch and dry any goo. I put them in the ashes under the fire overnight, and they were lovely and crispy this morning. I've put them in an air-tight container and will pop a bag of desiccant in there if I can find one.

Harvesting continued today. I don't know whether the unseasonably warm weather is extending the fruiting season, but don't want to run out of these miracle working mushrooms before the next season comes around, not until the end of next summer.

I cut today's crop with their stems on, to have another go at air drying. If they're still not drying successfully, I'll fire dry them or freeze them. Stuck into holes in egg boxes, they make a little enchanted tabletop forest.

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