My first edible: the wine-colored agaric. Right in my backyard. I brought one to work today and Bill confirmed it. The wine-colored agaric has a ring, pale rosy brown gills, fibrous stuff on its stalk, and dark streaks on the top of its cap; features you can see below.
(I cut off the stalk, as opposed to just pulling the mushroom up because of some advice I'd read.)
Bill recommends cutting the mushroom strait down the middle to see if bugs have worked their way up from the stalk into the cap. Um, yes. But you know I'm eating them anyway. They're my first edible mushrooms and the damage isn't that bad (and the bugs are pretty small). Don't look too closely, though.
So I chopped up the two caps, washed the pieces in warm water, and left them to soak for a while, hoping that any lingering bugs would exit.
Whoa! Look how red the water stained after soaking them for a half hour or so. I don't know if this is the reason it's the wine-colored agaric, but it sure could be.
After they were sauteed with a bit of butter, they shrunk down quite a bit, into these black slug-like things. But they tasted good. Like an over-cooked button mushroom, but with a deeper flavor.
When I'm not cooking for anyone else, I tend to go for the bare-root sort of meals. Poached eggs and toast it is. The drink in the cup is warmed up unpasteurized (illegal!) apple cider from an unnamed apple orchard. I'm probably not the first to realize this, but an easy way to make it into hot spiced cider is to add a tea bag. Mine's ginger.
The black specks on the eggs are bugs from the mushrooms.
No. It's pepper.
Et Viola. A very satisfying meal.
A note on the top prize (golden chanterelles): A few days ago I found some mushrooms that I thought might be them, but Bill said that they were false chanterelles. Their orange was too bright and their stalks were too skinny. But I'm still deteremined to find some on the property.