Mike, Cindy and I were inspired by our mushrooming lessons at Bress and decided to spend the following Saturday morning doing some foraging of our own. We headed off to Macedon to try our luck - Mike and Cindy with their eyes on the ground and me scanning for birds (like the delightful Flame Robin above).
The pine forest in Macedon is loaded up with fungi - we wandered about for forty minutes turning up lots of beautiful, but completely inedible mushrooms.
It was starting to get a bit depressing - mushrooms mushrooms everywhere, but nothing much to eat. Disheartened, we headed back to the car to move on to another part of the forest. When out of the corner of my eye I spotted something orange-looking amongst the pine needles.
Score! Our first pine-mushroom. We quickly stumbled on a few more in the same area and things were looking up.
We even found some odd looking jelly spheres - maybe frog's eggs?
We did a bit more wandering around other parts of the Macedon pine forest, finding a few more pine mushrooms.
And some disgusting looking, but apparently edible slippery jacks.
Before too long we had as many mushrooms as the three of us were conceivably going to eat: four big pines and a couple of slippery jacks. With our foraging finished we went in search of the Macedon bakery, which supposedly was going to provide us with the best baked goods of our lives - sadly they seem to have gone out of business, leaving us with some adequate goodies from Sitka Foodstore and Cafe.
By the time dinner rolled around, both Mike and Cindy were having second thoughts about our mushies. I was confident enough in our ID-skills to go for it though, and cooked up some mushrooms on toast to have alongside our main meal of haloumi and grape salad.
And you know what? They were delicious! At least the pine mushrooms were - even with their slimy tops peeled off, the texture of the slippery jacks didn't do a lot for me. But the orange pine mushrooms (or saffron milk caps as I believe they're also known) were delicious - cooked with a bit of butter and garlic plus some salt and pepper and they're an outstanding meal. Sadly our pictures were a bit crappy - even the picture above is the more bruised of our pine mushroom batches.
Going out foraging for your own mushrooms is super fun - it's easy, delicious and makes you feel like you're the new bush tucker man. Just make sure you know what you're doing - don't just trust our photos and survival story - find someone who knows what they're doing and learn what to pick up and what to leave the hell alone.