Sunday, February 7, 2010

Day 175 (The Bounty of SFTS)

Because I am more than the sum of my parts and don't want to be identified by what I am as opposed to who I am, I am changing the format of by blog titles. I was having a weird moment at Abiding Way today; I haven't been there in 2 weeks. The last time I went was the Sunday after I had coffee with the pastor and we talked about our differences in theology. Today's sermon was about how Jesus changes lives, and I sat there the whole time scared that he was going to make some kind of negative remark about gay people. Not exactly how I want to feel when I go to church. I could barely focus on the sermon because all I kept thinking about was how I was supposed to react when he does make a negative reference to homosexuals. I figured I could just leave and never come back, but what would that really accomplish.

Luckily, we were able to make it through the service without a showdown. One of the guitar players in the band invited me over to watch the Superbowl, but I told him I had too much homework to do. This is true, even if I probably wouldn't watch the Superbowl if I had no homework whatsoever.

When I got back to the school, I decided it was time to do some foraging. I don't know if any of you remember the weird wrinkled black mushroom I took a picture of a few weeks back.

It's called a black elfin saddle, scientific name helvella lacunosa, and I originally wasn't going to try to eat it because it seemed like it would disappear to almost nothing when I cooked it. Well, they started popping up all over the school! As I was telling Kimberlee, when you put enough insubstantial things together, pretty soon you end up with something substantial, and I figured there were enough of the things growing to cook up something. Here's a picture of my haul!

This one was as big as my hand!

Miner's lettuce has also started to sprout up everywhere, so I decided to pick some of that to cook with the mushrooms. All of this (the mushrooms and the lettuce) was collected from the campus. Miner's lettuce, as its name implies, tastes like lettuce if you eat it raw, and spinach if you cook it, but it doesn't have that weird alkaline thing that spinach does.

I found this huge one growing in the shade. You can't tell all that well, but it's kind of variegated with green and yellow. The flowers grow in the middle of the circular leaves, so it's really easy to identify this plant.

This is a normal sized one, about the size of a quarter.

And, this is the finished dish! As you can see, the vegetable shrunk a lot.I sautéed the mushrooms with olive oil, onion, garlic, salt and pepper and then threw the miner's lettuce in the end just to wilt it. It was delicious, and although all of the stuff that I've read on the Internet says that this mushroom doesn't really taste like anything, I found that they did have a unique "musky-mushroomy" flavor that went really well with the other flavors. This mushroom is easy to identify because no other mushroom in the area look like it, except for false morels, but those are brown, and it seems like it would lend itself well to almost any dish you would want to put it in, so it gets a thumbs up from me!

While we're on the topic, if you do choose to pick wild mushrooms, please be careful! Do your homework and absolutely do not eat any mushroom unless you are 100% sure of what it is. Only you can prevent mushroom poisonings!!!

1 comment:

  1. Charles the Salamander joins Smokey the Bear and Woodsey the Owl to make the world a better place. I figured salamanders live in dark moist places like mushrooms so it was the fitting animal for the role.