Monthly Archives: August 2010

Dirty, dirty boletes

The first mushroom bonanza formed the idea of the thing, created a precedent for all others. They were aspen boletes, which I never saw in the wild but W. hunted on a glacier trail in Juneau last year with a friend. They went back armed with loads of cardboard boxes and filled them all. It took days to clean and dry them all, a year to eat the small concentrated bag we took with us to Madison. While they were drying, while others were waiting on newspapers and in boxes to be dried, we ate a Slavic yogurt soup with mushrooms floating in it; it could not be simpler or more divine.

Boletus pulverulentus. Perhaps not the Ur-mushroom, but it has its good points. At right, the cleanest ones I ever saw growing, freaks of their kind.

Because of that the boletes were the Ur-mushroom in my mind. As you know the porcino, queen of mushrooms, is a bolete. So about a month ago, when I discovered a wood that was scattered with them — all over, so many underfoot I couldn’t help but step on some of them — I thought my life charmed. I discovered the boletes at the same time as the mosquitos discovered me, Continue reading


The mosquito of vegetables

I cannot understand what people see in celery. To me it provokes the urge — never indulged yet — to lie at a restaurant and claim I am allergic. I can taste it in cheap curry powder; it ruins otherwise fine chicken broth. Another thing I kvetch about is the paltry pickings in my CSA box. But now they finally fill the 5/9-bushel box, and with what? An entire celery bush the size of the Eiffel Celery Tower.

I do know someones who will take this off my hands, though.

She also nibbles on the plastic-and-duct-tape window cover every chance she gets. I haven't known someone this omnivorous since college.