Wednesday, December 08, 2010


MUSHROOMS AND RELATIVITY

I'd given up on the hiratake mushrooms in the many years since I'd inoculated the logs-- those fussy mushrooms would never emerge, they're so neurotic, as I observed on a tv program where the tyroshroomers sterilized the log sections with steam, inoculated them, wrapped them, buried them in the ground, covered them with leaves and left them alone for who knows how long, did all sorts of terminal care stuff and after all that got only 4 logs out of a dozen successfully inoculated, it was all true 'cause I saw it on tv, so this was really just a bit of mad whimsy I was engaging in here, with my simply principled approach of "just inoculate the mothers, put them under a tree somewhere, cover them with something if you want and forget 'em." So I did. Inoculated them, stacked them on rice straw under some cedars, covered them in rice chaff, more straw, burlap, and left them. But I didn't forget them.

For a good while, I'd peek under the burlap whenever I went by those cedars, but there was never a fungal sign on the logs, other than slow relentless peripheral invasion by small shelf fungi - the turtles of the mushroom world - the logs looked less and less promising. After a time I concluded that the spore had been pre-empted by shelf fungi; the logs were beginning to look forlorn in their ragged, dirty burlap carelessly tossed over woody shoulders, in comparison to the sleek but as yet unproductive shiitake logs leaning nearby in their natural tuxedos, looking ready for the Oscar red carpet, they were so trim, sharp and stylish, clearly prepared for the big time. The formerly alleged hiratake objects, in contrast, were more like under the bridge in a burlap shawl with a bottle in a bag.

Though I hadn't forgotten them, I didn't have much hope for those ancient H-logs anymore, thinking that at least they'll rot down in a few years and make some good compost, in which spirit I was raking leaves and cedar sprigs thereabouts the other day when something graceful and unfamiliar caught the eye of that little mindscout that's always watching through hope's tiny windows even when we daydream, that never lets go of possibility, which is really why we humans are successful as a species: it never lets us give up, is always on the lookout for a revelation... mindscouters DaVinci, Franklin, Einstein are a few good examples - not that I myself am in such company, but the list is - where was I... Oh yeah, those wonderful and elegant, Oscar-winning Hiratake Logs... Boy, were they beauties; I've never seen Hiratake that size; they're never that big when you see them in stores... and turns out that, unlike the lazy shiitake logs, the Hiratake were inoculated only 1 year ago, when in my head it used to be three or more years ago! Time is slowing down for a change! It's like when I was 10 years old! Today was a week long! Tomorrow, yay!

Not forgetting makes time longer than forgetting does. Or it could be all these mushrooms I'm eating...

6 comments:

Maggie said...

Once I caught my breath, I began cheering.

Robert Brady said...

That's exactly what I did!

Tabor said...

These look too good to eat. They are works of art.

Robert Brady said...

Nothing tastes better than one of these masterpieces!

Apprentice said...

I'm with Tabor, these are some pretty prodigious hiratake (oyster mushrooms) you've grown here.
Please let us know their culinary fate - I'm sure you found (or will find?) a very apt end for them.

Robert Brady said...

We grilled the big ones (some sliced) and ate them dashed w/ponzu; the little ones we used in our miso shiru...(Dream on, Four Seasons...)