domenica, ottobre 11, 2009

The gamut from delicious to creepy

True to my word, I spent two or three hours of the weekend foraging. Though probably a better word for it would be exploring, since we stayed in the city. The thing that I failed to mention last time was that Europe is very dirty, particularly its cities, and Brussels is one of the dirtiest as far as the north goes. So I hesitate to pick and eat things that have spent their entire life cycle being peed on by dogs or drunks, or inhaling car exhaust straight from the muffler. For example, we have a chestnut tree nearby that I was going to strip until I actually took in its position (dog park, next to busy road, with two drunks sitting at a park bench nearby) and sqeamishness won, especially as I don't like chestnuts all that much.

Mushrooms, however, are fair game. They don't spend that much time growing above ground, so I figure if I find them when they're young, they haven't had time to get peed on or exhausted or such like. And we've had a bizarre combination of patches of warmth with patches of heavy rain, so this weekend there were quite a few mushrooms in my secret mushroom hideouts. But again, the right word is still 'exploring'. I found enough of the very recognizable stump mushrooms to get us the base for two meals, so that was nice, but then I found two other kinds of mushrooms I'm still trying to identify. (Everything I know about mushrooms I learnt from my father, and father only picks four, maybe five kinds, and I don't know everything my father knows. So I don't know all that much.)

One of the other kinds were growing on a stump too, so I have a good feeling about them. In fact I wanted to eat them instinctively. But I have a very bad feeling about these, so much so I didn't even take a sample home for photographing to send to my father:

Don't they look like little ghosts? Like dead things coming out of the soft ground after a rain. God, mushrooms can be creepy. But these ones are extra odd. They don't have any gills underneath - the underneath is as smooth as the outside. Fucking weird mushrooms. I wonder if they came from the same beginning-of-life event that plants and animals did. I believe I've read that sponges may not have. I wonder.

3 commenti:

Baywatch ha detto...

kick ass! nice pic of yr sinkful of stumpers too. me, for the rec, i do only 2: morel-n-maitake. the rest are for photographing. and ewwing.

Mistress La Spliffe ha detto...

Yummmy yummy yummy morel and maitake.

Baywatch ha detto...

oh and wait, also, chicken-of-the-woods (aka sulfur shelf, not quite as appetizing a moniker) and giant puffballs, but those 2 are only incidentals that get culled in the pursuit of the primaries.