Went Mushroom Hunting Yesterday

   Yes. It was a cold but not too cold December day, a brisk 2-3 degrees Celsius, whatever that is in Fahrenheit. It was also a day or two after a hefty rain so it was perfect.

   The Catch

   Despite the almost perfect conditions, the catch was slow. One tiny Wood Blewit (Clitocybe nuda) to reel you in and then nothing. That's right, they catch you, you don't catch them, the sneaky bastards!

   Then came one or two Coprinus Comatus which I didn't pick up because they're a mess, a bunch of Coprinus Atramentaria which I didn't pick up because they make you a mess - they don't go well with alcohol and I have this (bad, bad) habit of celebration my catch with a cold beer - and then came a big, fat, brown Russula which I didn't pick up because it was inedible, then there were these three grisettes which I kinda fancied but later shied away from because... well... Amanitas are not to be trifled with, then there were a bunch of what I believe to be Lyophyllum and then some more blewits and then I went home. Did I mention it was kinda cold? Rainy, too.

   The Movie

   Yes. The Blewits are the masochists of the Regnum (did you know mushrooms are not plants?). They seem to love ivy and because they do, when they spring up, they immediately get into bondage and stuff! They're all tied up and bonded, by the time you pick them up. Pink, too! They're also hard to spot in all the foliage and they don't seem to like slopes and I kinda understand why. Because, you see, they're the kind of mushrooms that turn upside down when they're ripe (and I suspect they bounce, too!, but I have to catch one in the act to know for sure) and if I were them I wouldn't like to fall all the way to the bottom of some slope when I grew up. So... yeah, they don't like slopes.

   But they do like to turn upside down, though. Them and the Russulas, they're the hoes of the species, they're always on their back: "Take me! Take me! Take me! Noooowwwwwww..."

   The Dinner

   And... yes. I did take them home and cook them, but since I was only 99% sure those were Blewits and not some other things I kinda put them in an internship program: first took only one tiny byte, then waited for a day. Then gave them a cigar, to play with. Then took a spoonful. Then waited for another day. And because they didn't kill me, I finally decided they were safe to eat and sounded the attack. And they were awesome!

   The recipe, you ask? Wash well, slice thinly and boil in rolling water for 15-20 minutes or so. Discard the water, slow slow cook some onions, add the mushrooms, add some garlic, cook until done. Serve on toast, a thin layer of mustard and then the mushrooms. Enjoy.

   The Warning

   Never ever ever ever pick up a mushroom you don't know. Don't touch! And even if you do know them, treat them with respect, or they still could kill you. The mushroom kingdom is the place where if it looks like a duck, it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck, then it is - not necessarily! - a duck. (There, I worked that in, too).

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