On my drive home from work today I passed a patch of shaggy mane mushrooms. I fetched the camera and headed over right away to check these amazing mushrooms out. Shaggy mane mushrooms are inky caps. As they age and the spores are ready to be released, the cap liquefies and rolls up to better disperse the spores. They are a choice edible. They are similar to the Tippler's Bane: the alcohol inky cap which is poisonous but only when consumed with alcohol. I'm still trying to figure out if these have the same property or not, but tonight maybe I'll give a try to falling asleep without a nightcap just in case.
I brought them home and made the simple and perfect Baked Egg and Ink Caps recipe from rogersmushrooms.com.
All I gotta say is wow. These mushrooms were amazingly flavorful and delicious. To enjoy this recipe is to enjoy a plateful of raw oysters. Intensely flavored like oysters but more pleasant in texture, these mushrooms are a unique vegetarian meat treat. The recipe didn't say how long to cook the egg for, so I gave it 15 minutes. This amount of time was perfect for the mushroom, but the yolk ended up too well done. Perhaps that's just what you want, but next time I would try a shorter bake time.
After eating the mushrooms, my mouth felt like it had an unusually strong craving for water. My stomach was a tad noisy, which could either be from the butter or the mushrooms. None of the feelings were unpleasant, but they were notable. It could just be hypochondria.
A few days later, I enjoyed the same recipe with another batch of the shaggy manes from the same spot. Convinced after lots of reading on the internet that having this mushroom with alcohol is harmless, I had a beer with my dinner. The next evening, I had two beers with dinner, and had the worst headache of my life that night. I really felt awful, in fact it caused strain in my eyes and neck that lasted for days. It could have been an unrelated coincidence, but it's enough that I might start listening to the recommendations to avoid mixing these mushrooms with alcohol. In fact, it makes me think that I've had a good run of trying some awesome wild mushrooms, but maybe it's time to quit while I'm ahead for this season and give my digestive system a break from the almost daily surprises I have been throwing at it lately.