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Wild Edible Mushrooms
Tip and Recipes for Every Mushroom Hunter

by Hope Miller




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When asked to do this book, I remembered when I was first asked, on my mushroom forays around the country and the world, if I could recommend a few edible mushrooms for people to learn.  I remember the question seemed overwhelming when faced with the tables of the different mushrooms that were collected.  I was sure I would never be able to learn the good ones to eat.  I was told, "Learn about five new ones each time and it won't be so hard."   I took that advice, and it wasn't long before I too, had a few favorites.


My late husband, Orson K. Miller Jr., was a professional botanist who focused on fungi.  I was lucky.  I had my own personal tutor.  His was a profession of which I would be very much a part.  Our children, Andy, Lise and Ginny also were a part of it. We travelled the country looking for elusive mushrooms.  Soon the grandchildren were also a part of the entourage.  It was a treasure hunt every time we packed a lunch and went out in the forests and fields.  Of course, Orson was out collecting not just for the table but also for botanical specimens.  Sometimes it was hard to decide where our mushrooms were to go – to the Herbarium for future study or to the kitchen for dinner.


When we started to collect, dry and preserve the edibles, I needed recipes.  Every time we went to visit friends and colleagues they wanted to show off their favorites.  I am indebted to them for allowing me to use their recipes in my cookbook.  Although Hope's Mushroom Cookbook is now out of print, many of the best recipes from that collection have been included in this book. 


You can also have Hope Autograph the book
when you order from her here »

In the first part of this book I cover ways to collect and take care of your gastronomic finds.  Next come passages on preservation and storage.  Information about the North American Mycological Association (NAMA) is also included.  Their website includes a list of all the mushroom clubs in North America.  It is important to find a group of mushroom hunters to help you get started, and you surely will be able to find one near you. 


Following the introduction is a key to the mushroom groups covered in the book and photos of each group.  Then come photos and detailed descriptions of mushroom species found in the United States, covering their locations, habitats, and some common names by which they are known.  Most of the mushrooms described here are edible.  The few that should be avoided are clearly described so you can avoid confusing them with the edible ones.


Accompanying each mushroom description is the Latin name (genus and species) followed by a proper name indicating the name of the person who first described the species.  If the name is in parenthesis, the second name indicates a person who has more recently studied the fungus and categorized a new genus.  An example is Calvaria cyathiformis (Bosc) Morgan.  The genus name is always capitalized and the species is lower case.  This information will help anyone who wishes to engage in a more in-depth study of fungi.


Under the descriptions of the different species is information about where and at what time of the year they can be found.  "Widely distributed," means they can be found throughout the country.  Many mushrooms are found only under certain plants, so it's helpful to have a local plant and tree field guide with you while looking for mushrooms.


 The second part of this book details recipes for delicious appetizers, soups, salads and hearty entrees that you can make for yourself and for your family with your gastronomical field finds.  All of the mushrooms described in this book as edible and choice will be good in any of the recipes.  Some recipes suggest a specific mushroom that I favor in a dish, but many other mushrooms will work just as well.


I hope this proves a handy guide to take into the field and to use to identify mushrooms, bring them home, and use them in dishes the whole family will enjoy.  Learn about these mushrooms and then expand your base of knowledge.



Hope's Cookbook - Example Recipes







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