Mushroom Foraging

magicmush_Ssi.JPGSince the first time I tasted a porcini just outside of the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy, I was hooked.  The flavor of a porcini is like none other.  Fresh, fried in butter it melts in your mouth with a umami elegance and buttery nuttiness. It’s the best mushroom ever.

Walking through our AZ forests I have thought for years that I wish I could forage for my own mushrooms.  After our rains, they are everywhere.  Surely some edible.  Hmmm.

It’s only recently that I was able to actually join a mushroom club to help me determine which are edible, and which to stay away from.  With this knowledge and practice I could fill my table with delectable mushroom treats.

So it seems… I have a new hobby.  What’s not to like… walking in the forest on a quest for something delicious that you can consume.  Awesome!

This year alone we have been on 7 mushroom hunts… and we’re building confidence, safety, and our coffers with a finite collection of edible beauties.  We have chosen to only pick mushrooms that are easily identifiable with easy to spot look alikes in order to avoid all risks.  The mushrooms we can now collect and consume with confidence include the prized porcini (how amazing is that), morels, chanterelles, oyster, and lobster mushrooms.

aspenbolete_Ssi.JPG With all the recent rains we are starting to not only build experience, but product as well.  We are de-hydrating and cooking up mushrooms to freeze… and hosting mushroom dinners with fresh varieties.  You can check out our most recent mushroom feast here.

It’s about time we took on a hobby that didn’t require WORK. 🙂


A Year in the Grand Canyon

Every once in awhile you come across something you really want to share.  Point in case, my friend, Dave.  Dave, is like my dog… in a good way (I do love my dog, Journey, by the way, and Journey adores Dave – she has good taste.).  I mean that in the way that he has never met a stranger.  Everyone he meets is a friend.  He’s affable, friendly, talented, intelligent, and kind.  He’s one of those interesting people that you just love to know, and someone I am super proud and happy to call my friend.

But this isn’t a plug for Dave… not really.  It’s a plug for his book. You see, Dave is quite the aficionado on the Grand Canyon.  He has been down the Grand Canyon over a year. And by that I mean IN the Canyon OVER 365 days.  Pretty impressive.  In that time he has had quite the many experiences.  We are very fortunate that Dave heeded the advise of many who know him to write them down and publish them in a book.  He finally did.

His book, A Year in the Grand Canyon, is a collection of those adventures.  It reads like stories around the campfire.  It’s engaging, inviting, fascinating and intriguing.  It’s one of those books you just can’t put down.  It’s a man’s tales of life through passing through the Grand Canyon and it’s many lessons it teaches.  It’s fun, dead serious, and entertaining.

He got an impressive endorsement from none other than the famous Arizona story teller himself, Marshal Trimble who gives it a glowering review:

“Dave Elston’s passion for spending time in the beautiful Grand Canyon wilderness has produced a series of riveting stories that makes it a must read for anyone who’s ever been bitten by the “Canyon Bug.” His quest to spend 400 days in “Natures Grandest Architectural Masterpiece” over a period of years turned him from a green novice into an experienced veteran.

Elston’s stories also provide many important lessons in survival. Nature can be very unforgiving. The vicissitudes of the wilderness including the capricious elements, ankle-twisting terrain, lack of preparation, not understanding one’s limitations, and a myriad of others have endangered or cost the lives of many who fail to give it proper respect.

This book should be on the shelves of anyone who’s ever hiked the challenging trails of the Grand Canyon or ever wanted to.”

I don’t recommend a lot of books.  In truth, I don’t find the time to read a lot.  But this book is hard to put down, and a great read, one I highly recommend.  Check it out..

A Year in the Grand Canyon, by Dave Elston

It is published by Vishnu Temple Press, Flagstaff, AZ . Online orders can be made at The price is $15.95, and the book will ship around mid-August. If you would rather have an e-book, it will be ready by the end of August. Both versions will soon be on Amazon as well.

Order yours today.