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The Sickener

I don’t know what people made the edits, or what, but I’m glad to see what I believe to be accurate info. about the sickener in a prominent place:
"The mushroom’s common names refer to the gastrointestinal distress they cause when consumed raw. The flesh is extremely peppery, but this offensive taste, along with its toxicity, can be removed by parboiling or pickling. Although it used to be widely eaten in Russia and eastern European countries, it is generally not recommended for consumption" ( The one flaw is that the opinion that the taste is offensive doesn’t belong there. Perhaps when parboiling/drying changes the peppery flavor to a strange bitter, maybe most would find that offensive in taste. Of course, if it is highly peppery, that could be offensive to most if not eaten in tiny quality like a spice. But, the same can be said of [eating alone] many strong flavored [plant] spices!

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2 January, 2017 02:58

Is this Reishi, or perhaps something resembling it?
Also, I noticed the picture showing it cooked shows it in soups and/or stews. Have you any knowledge/experience of using it this way?


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Elaeagnus umbellata (autumnberries)

Today I went to try making clear autumn olive juice, but didn’t succeed. I used a Kitchenaid food strainer, which separated the seeds, pulp, and juice into three separate parts. Pictured is the the juice after sitting for ~5 hours, and the pulp. The juice does show a layer of sediment on the bottom.

Also unexpected are the flavors. I sampled a number of trees and chose the one w/the sweetest fruits. The whole fruits were only slightly astringent, ~mildly to moderately sour, and moderately sweet. The results, however, were approximately as follows:

-Pulp: moderately sweet, mildly sour, and non-astringent

-Juice: moderately sweet, mildly sour, and moderately astringent.

-Seeds: bitter (I totally never noticed this until today when I had a bunch of strained seeds to try eating) had me expect the juice would not be red, and though it wasn’t specific, I didn’t expect the juice would somehow concentrate the astringency. I can imagine some trees can be found that are super-ripe, and may have different results, but I’m certainly curious about what happened here.

One other thing: states "When autumnberries first turn red they are rather hard, very tart, and astringent due to their tannin content". Are my berries astringent due to tannin? Do the tannins go away when a berry is super-ripe? Could it be if my juice were closer to colorless, it would also be w/o appreciable tannins? That’s my guess at this time.

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16 October, 2016 19:48

My mystery mushroom:

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What are these two plants?
The dark blue berries on the planted bush are fairly tasty. The Woody plant with a maple-like leaves is nicely scented and has a pretty flavorful taste, though strong.


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Amanita muscaria fully formed caps, parboiled

According to the below, it is 10-15 in boiling water (see details). what I wonder is would fully formed caps need slicing. Slicing does increase surface area, but they are already so thin and the chemicals are so soluble in water….
"Cut the A. muscaria cap and stalk into thin slices (no more than 3–4 mm or 1/8” thick) to hasten dissolving of the active constituents. For each 110 g* or 4 oz of mushroom, use 1 liter or quart of water with 1 teaspoon salt. Garlic and bay leaf can be added to the water for flavoring. Bring the water to a rolling boil, then add the sliced mushrooms. Begin timing the cooking once the water returns to a boil. Boil for 10–15 minutes, until the mushroom is soft, then drain and rinse" (Rubel & Arora revised).

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