Little Mr Mushroom, underneath a tree. I look at you and you look at me.
You grow from the ground in a single night, with your round, round head and your hat so white…. Little Mr Mushroom. What would you do, if you were I, and I were you?
This child’s poem runs through my head whenever I see a mushroom. It’s kindve annoying as I can’t stop it and it’s like an automatic tape.
As a child we gathered mushrooms up the paddock after Autumn rains and Mum would simmer them in butter and salt before Dad joyously slurped them up, with toast soaking up the excess juice. I can almost smell them writing this.
They looked disgusting and if we asked Dad what they tasted like he told us they were terrible, but that he made himself eat them. I shuddered looking at them, glad he didn’t make us eat them too. When I was a bit older I was intrigued and asked to try them but he wouldn’t let us near them, which is about when I decided they were probably better than he was letting on.
I actually remember one of the first times tasting them in a stroganoff in the early days of going out with Gilbert and was amazed at the taste and texture. If you asked me now I would say my two favourite foods are mushrooms and scallops. I tasted a few amazing varieties on our travels in Europe too and I adore them all!
When I was a young Mum our neighbours little boy picked and ate a mushroom from under their trees. She found him with it in his hand and rushed him to the Drs. He was taken in an ambulance to hospital before you could blink and almost died. From then on I treated all mushroom type things with suspicion, only eating them if store bought and ignored them popping up on our lawn year after year.
This is Jebus the cat wondering what the hell I’m looking at on the lawn by the early evening light.
Recently however after reading many different foraging books with whole sections on mushrooms, I have been very tempted and finally bravely picked some this week and took them to work for expert advice. “Yep, Anne and Lindy said, them you can eat!” Karoline added most important first rule of thumb is to never eat mushrooms from under trees but confirmed the field ones we had were fine, so I picked more. Simmered them in butter with salt and pepper and poured them in all their sloppy glorious ness over our cow, disguised as sirloin. The steak sat on a bed of onions and a salad completely from the garden mean’t just the onions weren’t grown here. They were actually grown just down the road. It was so yummy!
In bed now and I’m rather hoping we’re not going to wake with stomach cramps and have to call an ambulance but I have taken a photo for ID purposes if necessary. If you never hear from me again you’ll know I died and went to heaven.
I beg your pardon….of course I’m going to heaven.
Talk Soon, Tricia