I love being right when it comes to mushrooms. On September 9th, just like clockwork, there were the mushrooms. Sheepshead (or Hen of the Woods) are Fall's gift to the shroom-lovers of Illinois. This tasty fungus runs a fairly close second to the treasured spring morel when it comes to table fare. Sheepsheads are great sauteed in butter, battered n'deep-fried, or diced up for mushroom soup.
They usually start popping the first week of September and continue well into October. They can be found near large oak trees— I'm talking huge— "can't-wrap-your-arms-around them" big. They grow on the forest floor near the base of the tree. They're not too hard too hard to spot (check out the pictures in the gallery). Just find a patch of mature timber and make sure you have permission to enter the property.
The season is off to a slow start, due to the lack of rain. But if we get some showers soon the woods should be full. Send me some pix of your plunder and I may post them here.
For more info and some great recipes visit www.danstefoutdoors.com.