Culture

Mushroom Memories – Fungal Foraging!

By Bernie Bell

Pics mostly by Mr A.

Friend Andrew (aka The Harray Potter https://orkneypottery.co.uk/ ) sent me a picture of some Blewits which he and wife Sigrid had foraged on a visit to a friend, and which Andrew and Sigrid like to eat fried with bacon and scrambled eggs for breakfast.  Yum.

This prompted a mushroom memory of when I lived in Wales, along a dirt track, in a house which an old local bloke remembered being a mud house!  Farther along the track, lived someone I knew, who was a biologist (presumably still is).  She would go out and collect Blewits, and on the way back from her foraging, when passing my house, she’d knock on the window to let me know. I’d go along to her house, and she’d do us a fry-up. I liked them – very much.

A nice memory to recall.

And that got me remembering other fungal forays and mushroom  memories.  It has to be said, I’m not a great forager, myself, except from the ’fridge!  Too much aware of the warnings from my parents about eating wild things that I don’t recognize!

Which brings me to the tale of the Suffolk mushrooms. Mike and I used to live in Suffolk, and had a regular walk down across the nearby marshes to a ruinous windmill. One time, on our way back, we picked what we were both quite sure were ordinary field mushrooms.  We included them in a pie for our tea, and both felt most peculiar!  Not un-well, more, un-real!  No real harm done – but it was a bit disconcerting, and shows how much you need to know about, and be quite sure about, what you’re eating when foraging for free food!

And no, they weren’t ‘magic mushrooms’ – we would both have recognized them.  When I was at Uni in a rural part of mid-Wales, around this time of year the local hippies would be out, scouring the fields for magic mushrooms. I had a chum who liked to eat them on buttery toast. A slightly different take on mushroom bruschetta!

And I remembered this one …..

….found on a walk near the Brough of Deerness last year – huge, and glowing like the moon!  https://theorkneynews.scot/2019/09/15/two-go-glouping-in-deerness/

I suppose it’s the time of year when thoughts turn to mushrooms and foraging for edible ones – note – capital letters – EDIBLE  ones!

Unlike the majority of these…..

https://theorkneynews.scot/?s=fungus

Andrew also sent me a pic of some of his ceramic mushrooms – some a wee bit more weird than nature intended!

But that’s what fungi are – weird – just – plain – weird. 

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/aug/27/entangled-life-by-merlin-sheldrake-review-a-brilliant-door-opener-book

1 reply »

  1. Synchronicity – I’m ploughing my way through this remarkable book, dense with information and an introduction to the wonders of the mycorrhizal Wood Wide Web among other things. The world certainly feels a different place after reading this book.

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