Into the Wild: Mushrooms in Colorado

 

Left hand park reservoir is a magical place hidden 30 miles west of Boulder, CO. Szymon’s sister took us up there a couple days after we arrived in Colorado.  She had just moved into her new home with her family and we were so grateful that the first destination was home with familiar faces, hot showers and home cooked meals.

We drove up the mountainous road that had beautiful views of the city and once we made it to the top, the sight was one to behold.  The sun glistened against the blue waters of the lake and we were surrounded by fields of flower and forest.  We have never foraged for mushrooms before and we didn’t know how sneaky they were at hiding.  They were found under brush and moss, in the shadows of trees and by rocks and rotting wood.  Once we started spotting them we realized there were so many variations we didn’t know where to start!

The trick was to find mushrooms that had sponge textured bottoms. We weren’t sure which mushrooms were poisonous because we failed to do any research prior to the picking, so we went with that. Either way, we found a lot of mushrooms that were edible and it so happens that the sponge textured bottom mushrooms were HUGE. They are called Boletus Rubriceps or King Bolete (for good reason). We found out later that there is an amazing website www.coloradomushrooms.com that shows you not only the edible mushrooms, but the poisonous ones too. Once we visited the site, we realized we left a lot of edible ones behind, but now we are equipped with the knowledge to go back and forage for some more.

The next day, Szymon’s sister cleaned the picked mushrooms and cut them up in order to string them up to dry.  She wanted to make sure that we would be able to take some with us in the van, and knowing that the room in our fridge would most likely be limited, drying them was the answer. This morning we had egg croissant sandwiches for breakfast and added them in with the eggs.  Szymon said it was sweet and tasty, but only time will tell if it was the not poisonous kind or not.

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