Wild Mushrooms is Back
We have been anxiously awaiting our delivery of Wild Mushrooms: A Cookbook & Foraging Guide since the first printing was sold out about 3 months ago. It’s a bit difficult to get freight delivery to a residential address in the CO mountains! Happy to report the books are finally here and signed copies are back in stock in our store. Both Simon and Schuster and Amazon are also restocked. You should be able to order the book via your favorite local bookseller or contact your S&S rep if you’d like to carry it in your store.
Now that the book has had a pretty good test run, I thought it might be fun to do a little FAQ, answer some questions, and share some of my favorite reviews so far. Trent and I are overwhelmed by the love for this book. Thank you all for your support, we appreciate you!
I am so proud of Trent, he tackled a new skill so we could deliver our own recipe photos for this book! While both of us dabble in photography, he has always been so much better at the technical tuning. I’m more helpful at framing the shot. We had some fairly good camera equipment, but did not have the skill set to capture food. Trent took an online course from Joanie at The Bite Shot (highly recommend). We purchased a new lighting setup and jumped in. Food photography is a very different beast. It is all about lighting and fine attention to detail. Placing shadows and removing splatters, dust, dirt and hairs. Although the pictures make your mouth water, the process is actually not very glamorous. Running from the kitchen, wiping plates, placing garnish just so, scrutinizing the set – an exhaustive process. We took many of our photos at night right in our living room. As long as you had a quick flash and the proper reflective surrounding, the darkness didn’t matter too much. There were many trips to the thrift store to find new plates, bowls, and silver. Also to the art store to find interesting new backgrounds.
The mushroom photos were shot in the field for the most part with our iPhones. Phone cameras are pretty exceptional these days! As you can imagine we have an exhaustive collection of mushroom photos. In fact, my photo library is full of Trent, mushrooms, dogs and nature shots almost exclusively 🙂 Our friend, Scott Smith, was kind enough to contribute the oyster mushroom shot from his personal library – such a beautiful photo.
We are so lucky to have some amazing chef friends! This book wouldn’t be here without them! Five chefs – Jane Mason, Angelee Aurillo, Tyson Peterson, Joseph Crawford, Graham Steinruck and Matt Kennedy – helped us cook and test all the recipes. There were a few that we did on our own out of necessity but for the most part these folks spent hours, days with us in a whirlwind of mad cheffing. Often we would knock out 6-10 recipes per day, style them up and photograph them immediately. Thank you friends, we heart you.
Yes – in fact I would say most of the recipes (more than half) make mushrooms the star! There are even a few that are easily converted to vegan if you so choose. Trent and I are vegetarians ourselves. And while mushrooms always pair well with meat, we tried to cover a wide range. Upon quick count, I found 70 vegetarian recipes. You will also find lots of cultural diversity in the food. With 25 foragers from all over the US, we ended up with American, European, and Asian influences. There are some oyster mushroom recipes that changed my whole viewpoint about eating them!
The foragers are my favorite part of the book! Most of them are people we have met over the years during our mushroom themed travels, now cherished friends. Yet others are influencers on our lifestyle – favorite authors & chefs, exceptional folks. Some people, while we talk regularly, we have yet to meet in person! Mushroom hunters are a diverse group of people, yet without fail, everyone we have met over the years has been kind and generous of spirit.
This is a common question. Honestly, when I heard the projected cover price from the publisher I was worried about the quality we would get in return. We knew nothing about this process. We were happily surprised, the hardcover book is really beautiful and very well done. I wish I could tell you how they pulled it off, or how Amazon sold round one for such a stellar price (seems they were testing the market). Most publishers get books printed in China these days and ours was no different. When you go with a publisher, many things are out of your hands – this is one of them.
We are noobies. We had never been through this process before. Skyhorse Publishing came to us out of the blue with a request for a wild mushroom cookbook. We jumped in blindly. While the process was frustrating at times, overall it was a positive experience. Be prepared to make compromises along the way. This book was supposed to be titled, Forage to Table. It was the largest compromise we made to help with keywords and internal sales channels. While it felt heartbreaking at the time, it didn’t seem to matter much in the end. Skyhorse took all of our visions into account from the get go – even changing the angle from purely cookbook, to an added focus on people, foraging tips and preservation. They incorporated our suggested design and increased the size of the book. They held up their end of the deal and made us feel like partners in the process.
We were responsible for almost everything needed to bring this book to life – obviously the writing – the forager interviews, the recipes, but also some other heavy lifting – foraging the mushrooms needed to bring the recipes to life, cooking and testing the recipes, taking the photos, digitally editing the photos, creating a sample design that we loved (this was optional). We did most of this ourselves, but in some cases we paid for things to be done. Creating this book was a hefty investment of time and resources.
The publisher bears the cost of printing. They edit the book and put the final design into place. They get the index completed for you if needed (though this was not free). They take these cost risks on you, new authors, essentially strangers. And for that risk, they reap most of the rewards when the book sells via their distribution routes. Most of your money as an author of a book like this is made when you sell it yourself.
Trent will tell you enthusiastically, yes! I’m still warming up to the idea 🙂 We are always bursting with ideas. Looking backward, it seems like the book flowed out pretty quickly. But there were so many factors that allowed that to happen, including the beginning of a pandemic! As our web clients and all businesses were figuring things out, we had a slower period that allowed us to focus on writing, cooking and photographing. We are not exactly sure what’s next on the author front, but one thing is certain – mushrooms always play a central role in our lives. You can expect to see more cool fungi centric things from us in the future!
Favorite Reviews for Wild Mushrooms
The votes are in! Most of you are loving the book, we couldn’t be more thrilled 🙂
Paula was our very first Amazon reviewer, if you are out there Paula – thank you so much. Your review brought us huge smiles.
“WOW, what an exciting new book! This is an absolute MUST HAVE cookbook! I am an obsessed east coast mushroom forager, so much so that I bought my own mountain to forage on. I love to cook and create new ways to use my harvest. I own most every wild mushroom cookbook out there and haven’t found one that really inspired me. This book is exceptional, it’s highly creative and exciting, I can’t put this book down! The recipes are delicious, unusual, yet very approachable and I can honestly say there isn’t one in this book I’m not anxious to try or make my own version of. This is not a boring book you look at once and sit back on the shelf, this is one you will actually use often and keep out to refer to every time you score a basket of fresh mushrooms. We don’t have every species in this book here on the east coast, but you can use what you have and substitute similar species. There are beautiful photographs of each recipe and great information as well as an introduction to the many individuals who collaborated in the making of this wonderful book. I love that it sticks to the recipes and puts all of its energy there. this is not a field guide that wants to be a cookbook, it’s a cooks book. The recipes range from rustic soups and sandwiches to a sublime Galette, tart and pate’ but all very easy to make. There are many unusual offerings like candied mushrooms, pickles, breads and even deserts. There are many talented people involved in putting these recipes together and I was happy to see some familiar faces. One of my favorite online chefs, the adorable Alan Bergo of the Foragerchef.com even makes an appearance, offering some of his amazing creations from his excellent website. I so look forward to your book Alan! Kristen and Trent Blizzard, you did a fabulous job on this book, I’m so excited to get it, it was well worth the wait. I’ve made several recipes already and they are absolutely delicious. If you love foraging wild mushrooms and you love to cook, you will love this book. I Highly Recommend this book! Great work!
bb, another Amazon reviewer, I just can’t help but love the Thoreau quote.
I absolutely love the guide! I most of all.. love the format & how recipes for each participant are under their personal shroom story and how the shrooms are organized! And the cost is sooo low for anything mushroom.. other than picking mushrooms for free in the forest! : ) I commend both the Blizzard’s on this pleasurable experience and can’t wait for a 2nd book! whoop whoop 😍
Gary Otto, collector of mushroom books, A classic? Thank you Gary! We are not worthy 🙂
I collect and read cookbooks, I have over 100. This is a great functional, informative beautiful cookbook. Filled with new information on wild mushrooms their preservation. Modern Forager is an excellent source for wild mushrooms. Anyone who forages for mushrooms should have a copy of this book. I think it will become a classic in the mushroom world. The quality of the printing and images of the book is excellent.
Thomas Scott, Amazon Review, Thanks for the kind words Tom!
I was first impressed with the quality of the book itself. Really well done. It will last a long time in my kitchen as a recipe book. The style and content of the book is great! I have never seen another like it. Well worth the price of admission. You won’t be disappointed. Thanks Kristen and Trent!
That’s a wrap. If you’ve purchased the book, thank you so much for your support. Go leave us an Amazon review (it’s even ok if you didn’t buy it there), we’d love to hear from you!