Sunday, January 18, 2004



Yeah, a brief bit of spring-like morning or afternoon in midwinter will fool some of the shiitake into budding, but they don't get much bigger before the cold comes back and the incipient fungi say forget it, we'll wait, try again in another spot, just stop right there, from tiny black olive to large black olive size (unless they're right close to the ground and its temperature-moisture leveling influence, when they are hard to spot and might open to hockey puck size), they look like black olives too at that point, but will dry right up, harden and and shrivel away if you don't harvest them. And if you don't think like a shiitake in midwinter you might not even notice they're there. I've been thinking more like shiitake than anything else these past few days, so I noticed the little ebony nodules right away. Gathered a few handfuls in ten minutes this morning, leaving a few here and there experimentally and to let them grow if they can. The buds are nuggets of satori in the winter soup I have for lunch, all the world- renowned shiitake mouth-feel and fragrance condensed and essentialized, all those tongue-eternity understandings right there in ideal form, maybe that's why that size never makes it to market...

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