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Alex & Aki - I tweeted you about this, but didn't get a response. I'm wondering if you have any thoughts on how to brine whole lobsters. I tested your method on parts, and it worked great (no surprise there). It'd be great if you could get the same results for whole lobsters, say for a lobster or clambake. I know that it's best not to leave the roe in a killed lobster, but you might be able to pull that out the back, and you'd need some way to let brine enter the shell, maybe by drilling a few small holes. Any thoughts? - Andrew
Toggle Commented Jan 12, 2012 on The Complete Lobster at IDEAS IN FOOD
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Tammy - B. is definitely an Amanita of some kind. Even the experts tend to avoid those, since the edibles and the deadly ones are way too close for comfort. Here's the thing: a single photo holds never enough information to make a reliable ID. For example, had you dug that amanita up (taking care not to break it off from the base) you'd find it had an egg-shaped sac at its base, known as a volva, a sure indicator it is an Amanita. There are many features beyond color and shape of the cap and stem that help a mushroom hunter to sort out what is what: shape, color, and orientation of gills (or pores), spore color (take a spore print by placing the cap on white or dark paper and waiting for spores to fall), presence or absence of rings on the stipe (see that amanita), presence of a volva, discoloration upon cutting or bruising, smell, even taste (a tiny bit of a mushroom, even a deadly one, is not toxic if spit out). So on and so on. It's overwhelming for a beginner, and even for experts. Here is what I always suggest to those interested in learning to forage for edible fungi: 1) Join a local mushroom club. Books are great, but the only way to really learn (and to gain confidence) is to forage with people who know what they are doing, and test your ID skills against theirs. Foraging in groups means that one person's ID is tested against numerous others. 2) Always use multiple guidebooks to verify an ID. You'd be surprised how they differ from one to another, even the reliable ones. And use the key, not the photo to make the ID. 3) Those caveats aside, there is one way for beginners to forage for edible mushrooms with confidence: stick to the few never-to-be-confused with poisonous species around, and don't go beyond those until you are an expert. There are six such "safe" edibles that do grow around here that can be found and ID'd easily: oysters. hen-of-the-woods, chicken-of-the-woods, morels, shaggy mane, and giant puffballs. How to find and id each of these can be found in the best book there is for the beginning mushroom hunter: Start Mushrooming by Stan Tekiela ( Happy Hunting! Andrew
Toggle Commented Sep 29, 2010 on Stalking the Wild Mushrooms at FOOD ON THE FOOD
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Sep 29, 2010