Lo and behold, they did! And yesterday afternoon I walked from the mailbox with a box of dried mushrooms hand-foraged from the forests of the Pacific Northwest for me to experiment with.
Upon opening the box I found five small bags, each filled with such varieties as morels, lobster, porcini, matsutake and black trumpet. Unique and striking in their own way the mushrooms also smell incredible! Earthy, fragrant and meaty aromas jumped from the open box, filling my head with ideas.
I spent last night looking through cookbooks and surfing the web for inspiration, hoping to come up with a few different ideas I could make my own and successfully show off these fine ingredients. After a few hours my mind was spinning with ideas for soups, snacks, main dishes, toppings and more.
Of course, it'll be tough. My wife is my biggest help and best critic when it comes to experimenting with new dishes but she hates, Hates, HATES mushrooms with a passion so I fear she'll spend most of Mushroompalooza making gagging sounds and scrunching up her nose like she smells week-old trash.
Stay tuned as I channel my inner chef and come up with what I can only hope will be an entry that at least doesn't embarrass me!
The five sample bags of dried mushrooms I received from Marx Foods for taking part in the challenge.