By , July 16, 2010

On July 10th, hiking home from town, Michelle and Aly spotted a mushroom on the high trail. The next day I went up to take a look. Sure enough—misshapen, with a huge, distorted stem and tiny head turned completely upside down, but fat and healthy, there was our first king bolete of the season.

A king bolete from a past autumn (Photo: Mark Zeiger).

I took it home, cleaned it up, sliced it thin, and we sautéed it briefly as a side dish for dinner. The next morning, the rest of it went into scrambled eggs. Each bite tasted like pure decadence—to me, a bolete (a.k.a. porcini) resembles the sweetest, most succulent pork fat I’ve ever tasted, without the calories or fat.

Yesterday morning, on a whim, I walked up above the outhouse to look around. With no real surprise, I found a big fat bolete popping up from the dirt. The little hill that leads up to our Power Point has always been a reliable place to find boletes.

A good bolete harvest from 2007 (Photo: Mark Zeiger).

Michelle and Aly reported seeing new chanterelles on the trail the other day. I’m guessing that when we go out today, mushroom gear in tow, we’ll find that they’re just the right size for picking.

The mushrooms seem to be arriving early the past few years. That bears watching, but this year, at least, it’s rather welcome. Although Aly loves hunting mushrooms, she doesn’t really like to eat them. But, she’s headed north for the Alaska Summer Research Academy on Sunday, so Michelle and I will be free to eat mushrooms to our heart’s content for a couple of weeks.

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