I had forgotten all about the fact that I owned a mushroom log. Pat and I scored one at the Garlic Festival last October. I bought one that already had fruiting bodies on it so I knew it had produced before. The ones that were on it were about the size of a silver dollar. The ladies who sold it to us said we could force it to produce if we wanted to by soaking the log in our bath tub overnight. You know me, I just tossed it near the path in our woods amongst the bamboo and let nature take her course.
I was snapping photos of my garden and our hops vines when I decided to go visit the creek. Everything was speckled with fallen choke cherry petals and something caught the corner of my eye. My brain went from oh, yeah to Holy $h!# in roughly two seconds. Not only had my mushroom log begun to produce again, it had popped out the mother of all shiitake mushrooms. It was the size of a saucer and, as you can see, pretty much matches the diameter of its mother log. I guess what my brain really exclaimed was Holy $h!!#ake. Heh, okay. No more stupid jokes.
I wasn't the first one to find the bounty. I knocked two tiny slugs off the underside. The photo shows the holes they had already eaten into it.
:-( Also, all of those tiny black flecks in the gills are insects. I was not giving up my mushroom, though. I popped it right off the log and headed back to the house to claim my reward.
I had been wanting to buy some fresh mushrooms to put on pizza and now I know why I waited.
Now, I know what you're thinking: Eeeeww!! That nasty hippy is eating all those bugs and slug spit!! Look, I'm all about nature but I gots my limits. Even though convention says you should not wash mushrooms, I rinsed this bad boy under the faucet and washed all the nasty little buggies away.
See? No buggies. And he's resting next to his new best friend, Garlic. Too bad his arch nemesis, Carving Knife, is lurking in the background.
Holy cow, did this turn into yummy! I think I'll call it the Marco Polo. I made a white pizza but I didn't have any spinach. Instead, I had some chinese broccoli or gailan. That complimented the shiitakes sauteed in garlic. I had a garlic and herb cheese spread from Integral Yoga along with some kalamata olives, fresh mozarella, and fresh basil from said fine establishment. Add some onions and parmesan and OMG!
I love you, mushroom log!