Mushroom Foraging

Yellow Chanterelle

I have embraced hunting! Mushroom hunting, that is. My goal this fall has been to learn more about foraging and feel more confident identifying mushrooms in the woods. I can already i.d. trees, so I’m halfway there. It helps that I geek out on taxonomy and love mushrooms. Why haven’t I made this a priority earlier? I’ve dabbled here and there, it helps my brother knows a lot and morels grow on my in-law’s property. But I’ve never felt confident of my own identifying because I’ve always had someone there to confirm the edibility of the mushroom, I never felt the need to figure it out on my own.

Lobster Mushroom

Luckily, I have a friend here who’s dad is a mycologist so we’ve been out a few times looking for mushrooms. It’s a lot of fun, wandering in the woods, scanning the forest floor. Maybe it will make my eyes better and I won’t need glasses anymore. She’s really confident in chanterelles, which happen to be my favorite mushroom. Now I am confident in chanterelles and through some thorough research, I am now confident in lobster mushrooms and cauliflower mushrooms. 3 new ones this season is a lot! I bought an i.d. book with great photos specific to the NW. It’s called All that the Rain Promises and more. The same author has a very large and thick bible of mushrooms as well. I’ll need it one day, but I’m not that advanced yet. Maybe when I move on to boletes I’ll get it.

Cauliflower Mushroom

But for now, we’re eating mushrooms almost every day, soups, stir-frys, quiches. It’s a lot of fun to find them and eat them. It’s so satisfying eating something YOU harvested. And I love it. Add mycology to my list of interests. I can’t wait to learn more. There’s a club in Portland I might join when things calm down and I have more free time to join clubs. I’ve detailed my cooking adventures with the mushrooms on my food blog if you are interested.

Connecticut Wedding


In September we flew back to CT to see one of my friends from college get married. They lucked out with the weather, lots of rain the day before and after, but the day-of was slightly overcast with pockets of sun. It was perfect, since it was an outside wedding by the beach. The ceremony was very personal and sweet and they had a lot of nice touches. After the ceremony they handed out rocks and we all threw them into the ocean with our well wishes for the couple. I even saw a few people from UConn that I hadn’t seen since I graduated.

We spent about a week in CT, visiting various family and friends and enjoying the northeast woods by taking a few hikes. It was a pretty low-key trip and we were able to spend some quality time with friends and family we hadn’t seen in a few years. Thanks to everyone who shuttled us around and let us sleep in your homes. My maternal grandma is turning 93 this year, so it was good to see her and play some cards and chat. We also got to see a good friend’s baby who is now walking, talking and using the potty. She was in love with Matt and thought it was funny he took a nap She was a newborn at our wedding, so it was a shock to see her so big so quick. I guess I really have been married for 2 years!

Exit summer

I really enjoy summer out here in the Pacific NW.  Even if there was crazy weather this year including a hailstorm, record-breaking 100 degree days and various cold spells.  We had a pretty busy summer what with moving to a new city, finding jobs, apartment, bike commuting and exploring Portland.  We didn’t get to rock climb yet but it’s still warm out so there may be time (if I remember how to climb-it’s been a year!).

Summer bounty

I had a few u-pick adventures this summer that were really fun over on Sauvie Island.  It’s an island about 30 minutes outside of the city and it’s all agricultural.  The berry crop was fantastic and I got together with a group of friends and we jammed, canned, baked and cooked up a storm.  Now I’m looking forward to apple and pumpkin season.  Mmm, pie!

Matt conquers the falls

We did get a good hike in recently at Silver Falls State Park.  It’s a “must-do” according to all the books and even though it’s crowded at the trailhead, it’s worth it.  8.5 mile loop, 10 waterfalls.  Most of them were swimmable, but I only jumped in one because the water was quite icy.  The park was only about an hour and a half from Portland and we camped with friends at the park campground, which was a nice break after a day of hiking.  Once we were about a mile into the trail, the crowds petered out and we enjoyed the maintained trails and great views.  I miss the woods, I plan to get out and explore more this fall.