Friday, April 15, 2016

It's an Ear Mushroom!

 We just love these Wood Ear Mushrooms! For one thing, they are so fun! They look just like a person's ear, and feel like thick jelly.  As the weather begins to warm up and the spring rains begin to fall (although we are still on the dry side right now), these beautiful little jewels are beginning to pop out. Dave found these on a limb hanging out over the chicken house. He saw the dead limb and was thinking that he needed to cut it off before it fell off on top of the chicken house or pen, then saw the mushrooms. Needless to say, cutting that limb off became a much more tedious chore as we tried to make sure we saved all the mushrooms from harm.

The Ear Mushrooms you see in this picture (plus a few more from another limb) have now been dehydrated and are carefully stored away for future use. They dry very well and very tiny, yet rehydrate to nearly their original state.

Boiled up, these mushrooms make a great flavored broth for anything you need broth for. They are loaded with nutrition but are a bit tough to chew. Some people love the texture, but most just use the broth. If you dehydrate them, then process them to a powder, they can be easily sprinkled into soups and other dishes to give your food a wonderful flavor and a burst of great nutrients. Since we learned that these funny looking things growing on our trees are not only edible, but healthy as well, they have quickly become a basic staple in our diet. When we use them to boil down and make broth, we never have to worry about tossing the boiled mushrooms out. There is always a dog around, excitedly waiting to be handed one for a treat. They absolutely love them! We don't give them more than a bite, though, because I don't think mushrooms are something you are supposed to give dogs much of. But our dogs rank them right up there with steak!

Thanks for reading our post and have a fantastic day!

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