Dowell, Illinois, US
July 15
born in Illinois. 5 year Navy veteran. Married for 26 years (not counting the first five when we just cohabited. 4 kids, 6 grandkids, 3 brothers 2 living, 2 sisters 1 living, a mother living, a father not living. 1 dog a labradoodle, and a current cat population of 2/6 (If you count feral kittens ) I've done a lot of jobs in my life, from shill at a carnival burlesque show to making medium caliber ammunition. I built inkjet printers, embedded computer boards, restored and repaired both cars, motorcycles and electronics. I read, write, and do arithmetic (albeit poorly) My wife claims that I have more useless knowledge than anyone on earth and resultingly no one will play trivial pursuit with me anymore. I do play pinohcle but due to my inability to cheat I don't win very often. Recently disabled I turned to Open Salon to re-engage my writing bug. Update add one cocker spaniel to the list and maybe just shoot me.


Bobbot's Links
MARCH 24, 2011 10:09AM

Elephant Ears Southern Style

Rate: 12 Flag

Here in the Southern tip of Illinois we get no respect.  We aren't Northerners, we aren't Southerners we seem to fall into a dead zone between the two.  When Spring comes to the land between the rivers we get the one benefit of living in the mud and muck, wild mushrooms.  

We have many to choose from and they seem to phase in and out leaving the picking for the next variety.   We get Puffballs, we get Morels, we also get what I've always called Elephant ears.  They are a meaty and broad mushroom that grow on the trunks of dead trees they come on first too so we get to tromp around in the mud along the railroad tracks and hunt them.

For some reason the big ones like to grow just out of reach and it isn't easy to tote a ladder around in the thickets and woods where they are found.  It's okay, the big ones are a little woody in texture so I just go for the ones I can reach.  They are fan shaped and pinkish gray with white gills.  You never take them all off of a tree either so they can regenerate next year.

So we take our mushrooms and wash them in cold water.  This gets the dirt and the little bugs that tend to hide in them out.  We trim the wood and pulp from where they were attached to the tree too.  Then soak them in a brine made of table salt and cold water, overnight is best, but at least a couple of hours.  Take a whole egg and whisk it with some milk, salt, and pepper.  For the outer coat, I use all purpose flour with a touch of garlic powder, salt and lots of coarse black pepper, now you can use Cavender's Greek seasoning and that'll do.  Dip them in the egg mixture.  Then, dredge them through the flour and seasoning mix.

Cook them in hot oil or shortening until they float then turn them over.  When both sides are crisp and golden they are done.  Now the health conscious will want to use some healthy oil but the truth is that they taste best when cooked in lard.  They also go well when they are covered with a peppered country gravy.  Mmmm them is some tasty mushrooms. 




Now some folks call these Oyster Mushrooms but we call them Elephant ears here.  Either way cook them up the way I just told you and you will love them too. 

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Bob, mention mushrooms and I come running. I love them on anything. I swore off the psychedelic ones years ago after a very bad trip where God and I got to know each other!
Enjoyed reading this. Are you familiar with the works of Euell Gibbons? His books make wonderful bedside reading. I mean, it's not as if I am ever in a million years actually going to make something like maple-spruce beer, but it's nice to know if I wanted to I could.
Heck, I'm not that far from Southern Illoinois, I might have to take a road trip and pick some of those mushrooms just to try your reciepe....sounds good.
Yeah gotta watch the 'shrooms Scanner

Patrick, I've been reading Euell since he made commercials for Grape Nuts

David, They grow in your neck of the woods too, just might be too late for them this Spring, check for them again in the late Fall when the temp drops into the sixties. It is almost time for the gourmet of the backwoods the Morel.
Did the bad ones once in the 70s... like wow, man, what a trip! ;)

Funny thing, though. Elephant Ears is another name for a large leafy green plant and I don't think it's edible.
Yummy. A former local prosecutor has a mushroom jones. He took me all over the county once, for a story, showing me the different kinds and how to cook them. I decided it was too hazardous to try myself, tho, after he showed me two mushrooms growing near each other. They looked alike, but one was poisonous. He showed me how to tell the difference, but it was too subtle for me to remember.
So that's what those things are! I picked some with a friend I trust and we cooked them in butter. They are as delicious as you say. And your recipe looks fantastic.
@ Belinda T:

According to Euell, that elephant's ears (Fallopia japonica), is good for making jam. No, I haven't tried it.
Mushroom jam? Say it ain't so! I remember Euell Gibbons. He cooked stuff up with Butter and died of Marfan Syndrome.

Great post and Zumapick for foodie wonders!
@ xenonlit:

No no no no no. The elephant ears Belinda is talking about is a green plant. Also called Japanese knotweed, donkey rhubard, etc.
Silly me. Patrick is correct, but I still don't think I'd EATt them; I prefer to SEE them thriving in a lovely gardenscape.
Before I opened your post I thought I was going to see a recipe for an old friend--a roulade type of cookie made from sugar rolled up in puff pastry, also known as a palmier. Instead I see lovely mushrooms. Cool. :) Rated
Lard is the answer to all problems, big and small!!! :)

I LOVE mushrooms!! Fried or not, good eats!!!
Mmmm...mushrooms(said in my best Homer Simpson-like voice)