5.30.2011

Shiitakes!

It was, like, forever ago that Matt inoculated a little stack of hardwood logs with mushroom spawn. I can't be any more specific in my timeline than that, because the half of this partnership that is in charge of remembering things (Matt!) can't remember what year it was. So my best guess is: 2009-10ish.

A few days ago, after a week-long soaking rain, look what happened! Shiitakes!


I was so happy! The logs are behind my parents' firewood pile, so I cut the mushrooms and brought them home to Matt. I opened the bag to show him, and held it out for him to heft the weight in his own hands. First, I made him behold the giant grin on my face, in case he did not understand the scope of his fungal success.


This brown sack weighed, like, a ton! Oh phooey, of course I did not weigh them. We just ate them.


First there were tofu-shiitake tacos, and then there were biscuits with shiitake gravy. I did not take pictures of the tacos because I was too busy stuffing myself, and I did not take pictures of the biscuits and gravy because only a professional food stylist could make biscuits and gravy look appetizing.


So you'll have to take my word for it: fresh-from-the-log shiitakes don't look like the ones from the store. They are mahogany colored and plump, and they come with integrity. As for taste, I wish I had a chef's palate, but I don't. I'll just say they were excellent. And also: oh, yum!

5.19.2011

Pink Faerie Wings

I once knew a little farm girl who was really cute and a total pill. I can't remember her name, but I do remember that her pet bunny was called Cumbaline, after the flower. This flower.


Isn't that sweet? Maybe you have to love odd words and bunnies and Aquilegia to think so... but I happen to fit into that category.


5.17.2011

Finding Treasure

We went on vacation to Acadia National Park in Maine last week. I'm not sure what percentage of the conversation on the drive north was focused on morels, but I'd give it a vague classification of "above average." Even for us.


The first morning in our campground, there were two morels, growing right out of the gravel on the path to the potty. This caused squeals of glee (mine). Matt's delight was more contained, as is generally the case. After a short ethical debate on harvesting a Treasure of Nature in a national park, we said To Hell With It and picked one.


Above, Matt tries to identify the species. We think it is a black morel, but mushroom taxonomy is really confusing compared to wildflower taxonomy...


In other scientific matters, here I am demonstrating that it is really important to wear a hat that bears a strong resemblance to whatever you're hoping to forage, because then you'll be more likely to find it.


Matt sauteed our plump morel up in olive oil with salt and pepper and put it on rice crackers, along with this really good gouda-style goat cheese from a farm in Vermont called Blue Ledge. Oh, yum!