An Episode in Which Wes and Kate Approach Death, Unflinchingly, and Are Saved by Angels

Note to readers: My living will is in a box of files, in a moving truck, somewhere between Seattle and Madison. It says once I resemble a vegetable, pull the plug.

That said, mushroom pizza is not a bad way to depart this world.

Last night marked a milestone: Wes and I eat mushrooms of our own hunting, ones that aren’t bright yellow hens of the woods and therefore incredibly obvious, albeit not ones that have any obvious poisonous lookalikes. We think they were angel wings, Phyllotus porrigens, as identified by the white spore print; the thin delicate white dry caps; the narrow gills, the absent stalks; and the choir I heard when I found them, thick on a log in the Arboretum.

Phyllotus porrigens — angel wings — or if something else, evidently an edible something else.

Phyllotus porrigens — angel wings — or if something else, evidently an edible something else.

Wes is now officially the more fearless of the two of us. After he nonchalantly snacked on a mushroom yesterday afternoon and failed to vomit or die over the next few hours, we made pizza di funghi last night. Well, pizza di funghi, leeks, bacon, grana padano and garlic. O, O, O, O, as poor dying Hamlet says in the Folio. Was that what he meant? That he saw heaven, and the clouds bore angel wings?

Incidentally, if you couldn’t tell from the way it looks at you, don’t eat the poisonous Earthball, Scleroderma citrinum:

Scleroderma citrinum, a puffball. Looks like a toasted marshmallow on the outside.

Scleroderma citrinum, a puffball. Looks like a toasted marshmallow on the outside.

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6 responses to “An Episode in Which Wes and Kate Approach Death, Unflinchingly, and Are Saved by Angels

  1. Do you need us to overnight you the ‘shroom book?

  2. Oh, I’ll be fine — I’ve got Wes to taste the mushrooms first. With all that testosterone, he’s more of a risk-taker than I.

  3. Hey, while looking all over online trying to find the difference between a Pleurotus and a Crepidotus, I landed on your page…I noticed on your “Currently Hunting” side bar you’re looking for a cast-iron wok–try an Indian grocery store. I found one for I think $9? Deeper than Asian woks.

  4. I’ve been going back & forth with someone here trying to get more specific. I get brown spores = Crep, white = Pleuro….I’m now trying to understand the difference between Creps, Pleuros, and “Angel Wings”–never mind all the common names and species and environmental differences and individual idiosyncrasies…sheesh!
    I’m going to be near Madison this Thanksgiving. I just got obsessed w/ mushrooms this summer, after a pal found a bunch of chanterelles, and I got curious. Now I’m beyond help. I hear Wisconsin is great for mushrooms, but I think I have to more to PORTLAND.

  5. That’s “move” to Portland.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/mycologista/
    I just moved all these images to a new account (needed to change the URL) so many of these don’t have their migrated titles, tags, etc.

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