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angela

My hens-of-the-woods

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MattVA noticed that I commented on never having had a hen-of-the-woods.  He very kindly fixed that a week or so ago.  His grandmother had some growing around an old red oak on her property.  He invited me out there, and gave me a couple hens.  I got to see them growing.  I got to taste them.  It was A LOT of hen.  I've included a picture of what he gave me, minus a little I sauteed in order to taste it and to see how I did eating it.  

It is an excellent mushroom. The flavor is very good, and it keeps a little crispiness even after cooking.   I've had it sauteed, on pizza, in stir-fry, and the base cut as a thin steak, marinated in an Asian-style marinade, and fried like a small steak.  Mostly I've dried it.  

I tried very hard to describe to my husband what it looked like growing.  We went to a local park where we thought there were old red oaks (Larus).  We found a number of big, old oaks, but now more hens (I just wanted to show him what they looked like growing--believe me, we did not need to  harvest any more.)  We found blewits (which I think are slimy).  

Yesterday, when my husband went to our hunting land for muzzle-loader deer season, he came home deerless, but he brought me two small (thank goodness) hens-of-the-woods.  We've been looking for them for two seasons but just didn't know what to look for.  They were by one of the big (but not the biggest) red oaks at the edge of our property (the very edges have the biggest trees).  I think I'm going to try freezing these.  

So, I still haven't found my own, but my husband has.  I'm delighted I grow it on my property.  I seem to grow almost everything there.  It is a very mushroomy 12 acres.  I couldn't ask for better. 

The hen is an amazing mushroom, and a large one is a lot of food. I'm very impressed and will keep my eye out a bit yet this year so I can try to find my own, and I'll definitely want more by next fall.  I'll need to figure out lots more things to do with it, and see how it rehydrates this winter.

THANKS, MATT!

hensofwoods2.JPG

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Matt,

I’ve never tasted hens before.

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Angela, your always welcome to come back again. That one old oak definitely flushes more than I need. Congrats on having them on your land thats a really special one to add to the list.

eat-bolete, haha 47.... wasn't it? And a maple to boot. 

Old Oak, I try to be and Angela was good people as we like to say so we talked about all sorts of things. I'm glad she took me up on the offer because I hate to see them go to waste.

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Matt,

I should be careful about what I tell you, your memory is too good:))

What’s interesting is, as fruitful as this year was, that tree produced only about 15 hens, and much smaller in size too.

Awesome job helping out those in mushrooms need! :)

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8 hours ago, eat-bolete said:

Matt,

I should be careful about what I tell you, your memory is too good:))

What’s interesting is, as fruitful as this year was, that tree produced only about 15 hens, and much smaller in size too.

Awesome job helping out those in mushrooms need! :)

EB,I don't think anyone has forgotten that post ,that was stellar.

Fall mushroom patterns have had me guessing a little this year. I found several flushes of Honey's last Tuesday and I thought they where finished. 

It's been good for hens this fall,this tree has had 7-8 each year but always flushes late. Typically around Halloween give or take a week.

My only complaint is that I have not had much time to hunt this season.

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Angela, have you tried any after they where dried? I'm running out of vacuum sealer bags and freezer space..lol. We made sriracha chicken wonton tacos a few nights ago topped with hens and it was definitely a keeper.

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No, Matt, I have not tried to revive the dried mushrooms.  I hope they work out.  I've only dried the fronds and not the stem pieces. Your tacos sound great.

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