Monday, December 18, 2006

Weekend Highlights

Some of you might remember a tale I told a while back about fungi, and how I ended up giving an impromptu lecture on various mushrooms in my local park.
Funnily enough, almost the exact same thing happened on Sunday.
Pudsey and I were on another mushroom hunt and headed towards the 'oyster logs' to snaffle a few more 'shrooms for a soup.
Just as we drew close, a couple with a small boy spotted the logs, and ran towards them with cries of 'Ooh look! Mushrooms!'
Pudsey, knowing the routine, marched right up to the logs and stood guard until I got there.
The couple had been talking and pointing at the fungi, and when I got close, they looked at me (camera in hand, wellies, bag at the ready) and asked,
"Do you happen to know anything about mushrooms?"
To my delight, I could honestly reply, "Yep, a fair bit. What do you want to know?"
They wanted to know if the mushrooms were indeed Oysters, as they'd seen them in supermarkets but never in the wild. I told them they were indeed, and added that that was why I was there, to get some, and also take piccies of the other fungi in the area.
"Have you eaten them before?" they asked.
"Oh yes" I said, "They're delicious, specially fried with a little butter and garlic. Why don't you take some home and try them yourself?"
The boy started jumping up and down shouting 'Canwecanwecanwe?' but the parents still looked a little doubtful.
The father asked what the other fungi nearby was, so I told him all about the velvet shanks, violet crust, and jew's ears, and then said again that they really should try the oysters, and picked a young one and tasted it to prove they were safe.
That did the trick.
The boy and his mum set to filling their pockets with as many of the young fruitbodies as they could while the dad asked me about cooking them tips, and Pudsey once again performed her amazing balancing trick, but fell off the log before I could take another piccy.
They were very happy that I'd been there to tell them about the fungi, as they'd always wanted to try wild mushrooms, but had never dared. I gave them the safety spiel about 'if in any doubt, don't eat!' and recommended they get a good book on the subject, such as the one that was on my wishlist, being this one.
They thanked me again and set off fully topped up with fresh oysters.
I didn't tell them about the other logs in the area though, oh no. Those are my stash.
That was the first nice thing that happened.
And then, this morning, I trundled downstairs to get coffee, and spotted a package had been left by the front door.
I brought it in and ripped open the cardboard and found it was the book on Mushroom Hunting from my wishlist! I am currently doing my happy dance, and would like to say a big thank you to F!* I have the most bestest, most darling readers evah!

Anyway, while I'm still dancing and learning more about fungi**, would you lot be so kind as to choose your tale for tomorrow. Your choices are:

Mrs Santa
Emergency stop
Wake up call

And how were your weekends btw? :)

*I won't mention full names unless I hear it's alright to do so.
**In between reading Wintersmith ;)