The mild, intermittent rains are bringing ever more Garden Giants, popping up all over the wood chip yard. I went down with two boxes and harvested all the best looking ones, wine-red caps (hence its other name: Wine  Cap), nicely concave, the annulus (or ring/skirt) still high up under the cap. I came away with 4.5 lbs.

I cut the butts off and placed those on more wet cardboard, then washed away the dirt, stuck leaves, and annoying little flies and set them to dry on the racks. Tomorrow I hope to put them out on the porch with a fan on them to dry them thoroughly, so they’ll keep. I ended up with 3 lbs 9 oz. Let’s see how much they weigh after drying.

The previous batch was delish sauteed with onions, garlic, chives, pepper, salt, and a splash of balsamic vinegar at the end.

If you’re wondering what that pale mushroom is doing in my collection, it too is a Wine Cap, only a little older. They grow more convex, loose their wine-red color, “grow out of” their annulus, as it were, which drops off. The remains of the annnulus and the grey gills still give it away as a Stropharia, though. Check out the very young mushroom, with the annulus still tightly held inside the buttoned-up cap.

 

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