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Monday, February 23, 2009

I'm Thinking Mushrooms, Caterpillars and Alice Here....

Just before Christmas I bought a Big Box O' Oyster Mushrooms at my local farmer's market. Pretty cool - a box, not to be opened until after its stamped date, after which you pull out the plastic bag and the matured fungi spits out mushrooms.

Shortly after Christmas I opened my box and it took a few weeks before the mushrooms sprouted. I was so excited. I carried on about my beautiful mushrooms at work, and gave some away. Then, of course, right after I lavishly promised to be She-the Giver-of-Free-Big-Arse Mushrooms the damned things promptly shriveled up.


So, a failed shroom farmer, I stuffed the bag in my garage and forgot about it. That was over a month ago. A couple of days ago I noticed the bag has sprung back to life.

Here's the bag - the mycellium, the main plant (fungi) is on the inside of the bag. The Oyster mushrooms are actually fruit, not the main plant.

The black plastic bag o' fungi. The Oyster mushrooms
pop out all over the bag, through slits in the plastic

I'm thinking that my over-attention mixed with the warmer temperature in the house is what put production off. But once ignored, and in a nice cold place, the fungi started spitting out mushrooms again. I think I will pay it scant attention which should keep the thing sprouting mushrooms right through until Spring when things warm up. The directions said it likes temps up to 70 and cool temps won't last much past April, what with me living in California's central valley of HELL.

This isn't my first experiment with mushrooms. Some years ago I had an oyster mushroom bag that hung in the kitchen doorway, but it died before producing the fixings for as much as one good mushroom omelet. I threw it out, BIG mistake. The thing probably just needed me to leave-it-the-hell-alone.

I love the soft fawn color of the 'srooms - yum...

Yesterday morning I had a nice Oyster Mushroom omelet for breakfast. Tonight for din-din I had Oyster Mushrooms, pencil-thin fresh asparagus and fresh garlic, stir fried with thin slices of lamb. Yummy.

[Update: In the Sacto Bee newspaper today there was an article on Mushroom varieties in the marketplace. Oyster mushrooms were featured among the Beech, King Trumpet, Chantrelles, etc. Oysters took the top spot as the most expensive mushrooms at $28.99/lb. Gak - Such a deal!]


  1. Do you have a basement? and try them staute in white wine, not cooking wine with bok choi or watercrest alittle scallion and fresh garlic sea salt and pepper to taste tad of oil and fresh ginger

  2. no, basement, make your own minature cave, farmers use to store food underground preparing for the colder weather.A barrel underground?