Saturday, November 12, 2011

Brave, or Crazy?

It's a fine line.

Today was a gorgeous day.  In the low 50's, sunny, with a good breeze, and most of the leaves in the front of the house are off the trees.  We went out to do some trimming and raking and the 10-year-old found mushrooms in the yard.  So I was called, and my book was fetched, and I got to work.

Tawny-brown caps?  Check.
Bell shaped caps?  Check.
Gills that start white and change to black as they age?  Check.
Growing in a tuft?  Check.

We decided we had Alcohol Inky Caps, which are edible but not if you plan on drinking alcohol, since they deactivate an enzyme which we need to digest alcohol.  Various medicines also do this - disulfiram is the main one and is, in fact, marketed to prevent people from drinking.  But something wasn't quite right; the color of the caps was more brown than the pictures.  So I did a little more research, and then I found a little tiny mushroom that confirmed that we, in fact, have Mica Caps.  Same family, also edible, but less likely to cause the alcohol reaction.  (Not that I care, I wasn't planning on having any alcohol for a while...but good to know anyway.)

After a spore print, examination with the loupe, and a little more on-line research, I decided I was correct in my identification.  That led to the next step:
Tasty, and as of an hour later, no ill effects.  Tomorrow I shall harvest more and use them for dinner!

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