Somebody brought logs to the Waxhaw Farmers' Market on Saturday. Not just any old logs, but four-foot long hardwood logs all propped up neatly in a row, and adorned with the most beautiful shitake mushrooms I've ever seen. Teri (the proprietress of the booth) invited me to pick the mushrooms, and I could barely contain my excitement...to be the one to actually harvest these perfect mushrooms, and then TASTE them. Ohhhhh.....I barely made it to the car before tearing open the cute little mushroom-decorated brown paper bag and popping a tantalizing treasure into my mouth. Meaty, tender, sweet, earthy essence....everything store-bought mushrooms had ever promised but never delivered. I will never again be satisfied with harvesting from the grocery store.
Having a supply of mushrooms this fresh and to be able to pick them is a rare privilege, one that I just had to share with you before the harvest season is over. You can meet Teri or her fiance, Nasi, at the Waxhaw Farmers' Market on Saturday mornings, or call them at Sharonview Farm at 843-602-8593. The farm is at 4114 Crow Rd., Monroe, NC 28112, and if you'd rather use email, their address is firstname.lastname@example.org . Oh, and you don't have to pick the shitake if you don't want to, they will be happy to pick them for you. If you're a personal chef or want to order a larger quantity for your restaurant, they'll make arrangements for you to get what you need. If you live far away, check with them because maybe they'll even be able to ship them to you. Better get 'em before they're gone! (Recipe for Chicken with Shitakes &; Capers in the next post!)