‘End’ is a tricky word. Go west from Hiouchi and pretty soon you run out of land dry enough to walk on. The end of the road, literally. Exhibit 1, above. Road she stops. Water and waves she starts. Think I will park myself where it’s still dry and rub shoulders with the other landlubbers shifting in the cold and staring west toward the setting sun. This spot is truly is the end of the world as we know it.
And then there is the other end of the world. Cross over the yellow line, bad slip on the ladder, crummy genes or badly identified mushrooms. It’s not a pleasant thing to contemplate mortality, but after gorging on wild-foraged mushrooms, and I mean an insane amount of gnarly looking lobster mushrooms, one must consider all possibilities, including misidentification and a hard stop at that end of the road. Ugh.
I batched it last night at the bnb and got a glimpse of that end point.
Meg is off visiting family so I took some time yesterday to forage in the wet forest on the bnb’s property and neighbor Bill’s. On a good day I can walk a couple hundred feet in the forest and find Chanterelle, hedgehog, yellow foot and occasionally some oyster mushrooms. Today, instead of the usual suspects, I encountered two mammoth Lobster Mushrooms (Hypomyces lactifluorum) hiding under some glistening wet leaves.
I haven’t had good luck eating Lobsters. I wait too long after picking them before consuming. Case in point I have a small collection of Matsutake mushrooms Meg and I picked on a recent walk with Molly and I think it’s going on five days now since I put then in an old paper bag out on the deck. I don’t even want to look anymore.
The Lobsters were quick-sauteed in butter and sesame oil with a dusting of salt, pepper and thyme, just to get a bit of a seared edge going on the flesh cut side. Then roasted in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes. A little more salt, more thyme and they turned out pretty damn good (though they do look a little gruesome).
I had time tocatch the fading sunlight over Castle Rock in the Pacific at Point St. George and the sum total was a mellow night plucked from the nicer parts of the Pacific Northwest.
Come hang out and we can go foraging! Just head west and don’t stop till you come to the end of the world. If I can make it so can you.