Mushroom Mystery

Some magnificent looking mushrooms have sprung up in front of the house across the street. The size of salad plates, appearing suddenly when heavy rains followed a heat wave, they seem magical, planted by a garden troll or an alien. IMG_0913 IMG_0914

In my mind, I’m gathering and giving them a quick rinse, chopping a bit, and sautéing in butter, garlic and fresh herbs. I’d mix them with wild rice or serve on top of pasta. Or just eat straight from the pan.

I remember years ago we had a houseguest from Australia visiting. After a summer rain, she collected the mushrooms from the lawn. My mother panicked and admonished her, worried about having to tell her mother she’d been poisoned. Jane, our guest, assured us these were fine. Trusting her, we ate them and they were great.

But not knowing mushrooms—with more than 1,000 varieties worldwide and many of them poisonous- I’ll stick to buying at the grocery store and leave identifying to the botanists who study them. There’s a Czech adage that warns: “Every mushroom is edible, but some only once.”

Nevertheless, they remind me of nature’s mysteries. Beautiful. Temporary. Mystical.

Advertisements

About cyclingrandma

I was a journalist (Danbury News-Times, Ct), before becoming a teacher, and continue to write for professional journals. I have written several study guides for Penguin Books and write for Education Update, a newspaper based in New York City. (www.educationupdate.com). I’ve interviewed many authors, college presidents, and scientists. I wrote “The Kentucky Derby’s Forgotten Jockeys” for Smithsonian Magazine's website, www.smithsonian.com. (April, 2009). Two essays have been published in book anthologies; one for Wisdom of Our Mothers, (Familia Books) and the other in “College Search and Parent Rescue: Essay for Parents by Parents of College-Going Students.” (St. Martin’s Press). I was a middle school Language Arts teacher for more than 10 years and have just completed a five year grant position under No Child Left Behind in Newark, NJ public schools. I have three children, two daughters-in law, and six grandchildren. I'm an avid cyclist, knitter, cook, and reader. I love theater, museums, and yoga.
This entry was posted in environment, food, Nature, Writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Mushroom Mystery

  1. NanC says:

    That Czech adage had me laughing out loud in the Library. Your fault!! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jfrances40 says:

    Love mushrooms and love this post!

    Like

  3. hugmamma says:

    Love the last line. Often times all it takes is once…like voting Trump.

    Like

  4. Ha, I love that old adage Lisa!

    I will never be in danger of eating a bad mushroom, Lisa, because I don’t like ANY mushrooms. 🙂 Those on your nieghbours lawn are incredible though – wow! ❤
    Diana xo

    Like

  5. esti says:

    Just took a short foraging class. Next time, I hope to share that great Czech quote! =)

    Like

  6. I remember Jane Dunsford’s visit. the mushrooms are great now. I even ventured to cook some that looked likr the ones she cooked. I understand that there is no easy way of identfying edible mushrooms. There are poisonous and edible varieties in every catagory. Just have to study each one.

    Like

  7. susanissima says:

    Love this post, Lisa. Seems like in each area there’s a shroom expert or ten teaching a class. I’ve taken one here in the Pacific Northwest and it was intense. We went on gathering walks and made spore prints, but in the end, when our instructor wasn’t present I just couldn’t bring myself to serve them.

    Like

  8. I wouldn’t have the nerve either. Leave it to the experts.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s