It seems like only yesterday that my shiitakes were but wee spores. I tended to them every day, carefully misting them three times a day and following every instruction in the handbook–even going so far as e-mailing the mushroom patch company to ask someone questions about the welfare of my little ones.
Then they started growing like gangbusters in girth and height virtually by the hour, reaching 1 inch in diameter, then 2, then 3. After they stayed at nearly 5 inches in diameter for a couple of days, though, I knew they were good and ready to be harvested.
I feel sort of silly even typing this, but I actually felt the slightest tinge of sadness when I cut the stems and chopped them up. I’d invested quite a bit of time and effort in my patch, and even though I only got two mushrooms out of it, they were the very first fungi I’d ever grown, on purpose anyway. A girl never forgets her first shrooms.
At first, I thought about just sauteeing them with a little butter and salt, but then I found this drool-worthy Epicurious recipe for Wild Mushroom Risotto. Dee-licious.
So what now? It looks like my patch is dormant at the moment, so no more updates for a while. Hopefully, the next time I get a flush of mushrooms, they’ll grow bigger and badder than the first ones.
Maybe I should get some advice from Ian Neale, a Welsh farmer whose vegetable-growing prowess caught the attention of a certain hip hop star who also happens to be a fellow gardening enthusiast.
“Let’s smoke some swede, fo’ shizzle.”