Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Mushies and Toadies

I recently found some fungi popping up in my small garden area. I took a good look at them to determine if they were mushrooms or poisonous mushrooms...toadstools. They had a grey colour under the mantle which usually points to them being mushies, however they had strange spots on top of the mantle and it spooked me. They went into the compost.

I have always thought that field mushrooms with an almost flat mantle and black underneath are the real item and anything slightly different was a bit scary. One of the internet sites I Googled suggested that if it didn't look like the typical mushroom it was a toadie and that rang true for me as most toadies have a mantle like a half-opened umbrella and are very soft.

When we lived in New Guinea we could buy sago mushrooms...mushrooms that grew in the sago swamps. Delicious! They didn't look like the regular mushies. Later when I taught at a country town, Goomalling, the golf course was mushroom heaven for about three weeks after the first heavy rains.

Bali has its Magic Mushrooms and even down south here in Western Australia there is an annual cat and mouse game with hippies and the police when the Karri forest spawns its own magic mushrooms.

I've tried the home cultivation of mushies in a box. It works, but there is nothing like large field mushrooms freshly picked and fried on a skillet with lots of butter, pepper and salt.

Disclaimer: I don't really know poo from clay about Toadstools, so don't take my advice when eating wild fungi.

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