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How Brave am I?

>> Saturday, September 11, 2010

Last weekend we moved the giant tub that we use for our herb garden.  For some reason - I have no idea why - it had gotten set on top of one of our chopping blocks this spring and had been left there through the summer.

As an aside, I can safely say with 100% confidence that I did not set the giant wooden 1/2 barrel up there.  Why?  Because, despite all the work my trainer/friend M has made me do, I can't even begin to lift the thing.  So spouse gets the blame/credit for setting it there.  Ah, if only all our household disputes were so easy to resolve.  Even when I want to, I can't ever confidently blame my husband for setting the dirty plate on top of the dresser and leaving it there because I'm perfectly capable (and at least as likely) to have done so.  Same problem with who put the iPod in some obscure place.  Apparently I just need to have only objects that are so heavy I can't lift them, then we'll always know I can blame him for putting them where I didn't want them.

Anyway, when my husband lifted the tub off, I was pleasantly surprised to see this:

And up close:

I thought they were lovely, so snapped a few pictures of them.  I figured that now they were exposed to direct sunlight, they'd wither and die within a day.

Not so.

A week later, here they are:

I happen to think they're even lovelier now.  The question is, what are they?  They look to me like the oyster mushrooms I buy at the grocery store.  I pay a small fortune for oyster mushrooms because I love them.  And these sure look like them.  I consulted my mushroom field guides, and they seem to indicate they are oyster mushrooms, too.

But ARE they?  If I could know for certain that they were oyster mushrooms, I'd scoop them off and fry them up in a little ghee and salt.  Yummy.

I was raised to be a little bit paranoid about eating wild mushrooms.  In fact, when I was young, my Dad was so worried that my sister and I would eat the wild ones we saw hiking that he called all fungus we found in the woods "toadstools" just so we wouldn't get confused.  I admit that my Father has good reasons to be a little tense about eating wild mushrooms.  When he was a kid, his parents picked some wild mushrooms and cooked them for the family.  Only trouble was, although they looked alike, the mushrooms my grandparents picked were not the same variety as the ones they were used to picking and eating where they grew up in Poland, and my father's whole family was violently ill.  I can see why that memory wouldn't fade easily.

Having been raised to be afraid of eating the things, it then didn't help that my husband's uncle picked and ate a poisonous mushroom not that long ago.  It reinforced my paranoia.

Alas, when it comes right down to it, I am my father's daughter and I don't have what it takes to try my mushrooms-that-could-be-extremely-yummy-oyster-mushrooms.  I shall settle for looking at them, photographing them, and wondering...


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