Writing 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

11.22.12 Count Your Blessings

Wild Geese
by Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
Tagged — wild mushroom
Dogwood 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

5.21.12 Natural High

Back to earth, quite literally. I spent 5 hours weeding yesterday. Before we left for Venice, I had noticed a new kind of weed proliferating throughout the garden. I ignored these slim stalks for a few days and they took advantage by inviting all their kinfolk to the party. By the time we returned from our trip, the whole enormous crop of them had dried up, turning most of our beds into brittle, grassy fields. The kicker? When you pull them up, they literally spit their seeds into your face, showering them everywhere. So we are assured of a nice big crop next year. Mother Nature sure is clever. On the flip side, she has rewarded us with so many other signs of gloriously burgeoning life. The chipmunks are back, fat and sassy, chasing each other around the yard. Woodpeckers syncopate the goings-on. The cherry tree and the lilacs are in bloom, and their sultry perfume never fails to remind me that life is sweet.
Tagged — wild mushroom
Lcs with maitake1 790 xxx
photo by george billard

9.12.11 Mushroom Magic

And they say lightning doesn't strike twice. Either it's beginner's luck or I am some sort of idiot savant of mushroom foraging, but just two days after finding the enormous chicken mushroom, I came across this extraordinary hen-of-the-woods! Once again, I was driving, this time coming back from my weekly shopping trip to the farm. I simply glanced out the window and there, recessed in the woods, at the base of a large, rotting oak stump and illuminated by a single shaft of dappled sunlight, with this gorgeous, ruffled mound. Surely not, I thought to myself. And then screeched to the side of the road and plunged into the forest. I was cackling like a madwoman as I brought this into the house, as drunk with victory as a conquering Roman. And then, this morning, up for my constitutional at 7am, I came across yet another hen-of-the woods! Not as big as the first one, but still 5 gloriously fresh pounds of it! And some chanterelles, to boot!
Tagged — wild mushroom
Chicken mushrooms on toast 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

9.9.11 Funky Chicken

Seek and ye shall find. Friends and fellow foragers, I am beside myself!! Driving to yoga, a flash of orange in the woods caught my eye and I mentally bookmarked it for the ride home. And there it was upon my return—yes, in all its flamboyant and fiery glory—an enormous wild chicken mushroom!! A large-and-in-charge specimen of Laetiporus sulphureus, also known as the Sulfur Shelf mushroom. It's considered a good entry-level wild edible, because it's quite distinctive and really can't be confused with anything remotely poisonous. There were a good 10 pounds of it growing atop a fallen tree trunk, and I took home about half of that, much of it fresh, pliant and begging to be eaten. After a good trimming, a soak in salty water (to clear out any bugs) and a thorough drying, I stashed my haul under a paper towel until dinner time. Sautéed in butter, with a little garlic, thyme, stock and a splash of cream, and served over toast, it was the supper of my dreams: wild, free and spectacularly seasonal.
Tagged — wild mushroom