I assume everyone has heard, "There are old mycologists; there are bold mycologists; but there are no old bold mycologists!"
My friend Susan Tomaselli grows, at least used to grow, beautiful oyster mushrooms. Sometime in the '80s she invited me to a wild mushroom festival in Telluride, Colorado. It was wild and wonderful and I would go again if I could afford it! Thank you, Susan!
Meetings and lectures and films and foraging. Gary Lincoff, President of the North American Mycological Association, was there as was Andrew Weil, talking about restaurants in China where the chef cooks for what ails you; where the approach to medicine is wholistic, a shot gun vs a rifle; about polypores that appear to "cure" lung cancer. Videos of honey bees brushing away dirt to get to the mushroom rhizomes underground.
There were professors who had spent much of the '60s in search of psilocybins, now heads of university departments. (Incidentally, psilocybins are back in the medical research news.) A U. S. Army officer sent to investigate the role mushrooms might play in survival situations. Seriously.
The last day of the conference, we spent harvesting whatever we could find in the surrounding area, then preparing dishes for the departure party, many dishes. The wine was fine but we exercised healthy caution regarding the culinary offerings based on how much we trusted the preparer.
Dr. Weil’s Mushroom Strudel was a winner. As was he. Here follows an approximation.
In lieu of real strudel dough, buttered and layered sheets of phyllo will do, as will puff pastry sheets rolled out thin. Fill with the usual suspects, a variety of wild and/or not-so-wild mushrooms sauteed in butter or olive oil with shallots, garlic and herbs. Mix with softened cream cheese and grated Swiss or parm, some sherry if you wish. Cool.
Spread on the pastry, roll, brush with egg wash and bake, seam side down, until hot and golden. Let rest a few minutes before slicing into big chunks. Red wine or white.