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Rooting Around For Mushrooms and More

Posted Nov 21 2009 10:00pm

Last night I went to a SOMA meeting and listened to David Arora, author of Mushrooms Demystified (which is still a big mystery to me) and All that the Rain Promises and More..., and William Rubel, friends and myco-cohorts discuss the Aminita Muscaria mushroom and its edibility. Now, if this isn't the black hole of mycological geek-dom, I am not sure what is. No PowerPoint presentation or photos, one little aminita-like prop and lots of talk about history and then reality. Bottom line: they say that you can eat the poisonous aminita muscaria if it is boiled for 15 minutes in a large amount of water and then cooked another way. First, though, you have to find said mushroom.

A sad day for me, as today was the SOMA foray at the coast of Northern California. And my day just did not allow for me to make the trip. So, I went to a local park which was supposed to be a potential mushroom spot. I once found a Boletus Edulus (porcini) there and have been looking for another ever since. That was years ago. But sometimes the fun is in the hunt, not in the finding -- RIGHT! While that sounds nice, the truth is that the thrill is in finding the mushrooms, especially choice edibles. That will have to wait until later this week when I hope to get a coastal trip in and get moving in the woods with eyes on the ground.

On another note, today was a beautiful day at the farmer's market, with people gearing up for Thanksgiving. I bought a new-to-me squash, the name of which I have already forgotten, and some horseradish root, which I love as something to grate onto my baked potatoes. Twin Peaks Ranch had a new Algerian tangerine, which I declared is tastier than the Satsuma Mandarin. This was confirmed by Ted Richardson of Bella Ride Orchard (or farm), a guy who knows his fruit. I stopped by too late to get any apples or pears from Ted but he's the guy who grows the incredible Warren pears, also sold out for the year. Jim and Dave from Cazadero were there with chanterelle mushrooms (see photo for a holey one), chestnuts and quince.
Friday I spoke to the Valley of the Moon Rotary on The Veggie Queen's Health Care Solution and tomorrow I speak to the UU Forum in San Francisco about Surviving the Holidays as a vegetarian (so easy to do in my opinion but I have years of experience). Both talks involve vegetables, which ought to be clear by now. I have an agenda. I'm a mom so I say, "Eat your vegetables, please."
Just so you know, I've still got mushrooms on my mind, and they aren't vegetables but are well worth eating, if you can find them.
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