Yesterday I did something I’d

Filed under:General — eric @ 3:44 am

Yesterday I did something I’d wanted to for a long time but was too afraid to actually do. I ate wild mushrooms that I collected myself. I’d been scared away (rightly so) by years of being told you should never eat wild mushrooms unless they were collected by an expert. I’d never been formally trained, so despite my love of mushrooms, I stayed away. The last week has been both warm and wet, and my yard has exploded with mushrooms. White puffballs about the size of a marble blanket my front and back yard. Puffballs are about the easiest of the edible mushrooms to identify, and by all accounts they’re mighty tasty (not to mention mighty healthy), so I collected a handful, made sure I had a proper identification, and cooked ‘em up for dinner. I cooked them simply — dipped them in egg, rolled them in seasoned bread crumbs, and then lightly fried them in canola oil. And yes, they were very, very good. I’ll be eating more of them. Next thing to do is get some formal training so I can confidently go collecting morels and other tasty morsels that inhabit the woods by my house. For an excellent article on migrant wild mushroom hunters, visit here.

What do you do when

Filed under:General — eric @ 1:57 am

What do you do when you have a wonderful garden at your rental house and you get evicted? Move the garden, right down to the topsoil. Fighting landlords with scorched earth… scary.

How now, mad cow? The

Filed under:General — eric @ 1:46 am

How now, mad cow? The end is upon us, states this article, caused by the world-wide spread of prions. Vegan scare tactic or portent of things to come?

At first, the disease seemed kind of fun. Imagine Cruetzfeldt and Jacob coming upon this native, laughing himself to death with kuru, (the Papuan name for it) then embarking for Europe, with the laughing man’s pickled brain in a jar. Seeing no germs in any lens of the period, they threw this spongy cauliflower into their little British garden. A trillion prions abated into the ground, waiting for some low-grazing animal to come munching toward them, and along came the family pet, Wooly the Ram. Bingo! It’s Mega-death starring The Cannibal Bug opening at the Palladium. That might well have been the scenario for, after New Guinea, the disease’s next official appearance involved a big, geographic leap. In the 70’s, it appeared in the sheep herds of Britain. British sheepherders, with Celtic poesy, called the penchant “scrapie” after the sick sheep’s habit of rubbing up against things. As breeders traded sheep like baseball cards, scrapie moved to sheep herds in America which in 1970 had an epizootic amount of laughy, rubbing sheep. For a while farmers wondered if their teen-aged kids had dosed herds with some of those new-fangled, hippie drugs. Rams and ewes who had never met a cannibal started exhibiting an odd, itch to scrape their heads and hides against fences, even if the fences were barbed wire. No one suspected that scrapie was just that old Papuan wolf hiding in sheep’s clothing. It was beyond imagination that a cannibal infection on one, isolated continent could leap to food chain-animals on another continent…