If this autumn could be characterized by any one theme at This Green House, it would have to be mushrooms. By all accounts, we’ve enjoyed the confluence of the perfect climate conditions with the great diversity of fungi that can be found here on the Sunshine Coast.
We’ve attended the Mushroom Festival, joined Sunshine Coast Shroom Society, and learned, one-by-one, how to identify the tastiest edibles and pick them sustainably.
Today, I attended a workshop offered by the One Straw Society’s Live and Learn Program. Our goals were to find the late fall Oyster mushrooms (Panellus serotinus), watch a cooking demonstration of oyster mushroom chips, and eat a lunch of delectable cream of mushroom soup, garlic bread, veggies, and local fruit crisp.
(If you’re at all squeamish, close your eyes for this next part.)
Our wide-ranging discussion during the session introduced me to the concept of a mushroom burial suit. I looked it up on the ‘net, and what-do-you-know, it’s a Ted Talk! I am an ardent fan of TED. Artist Jae Rhim Lee has researched the development of an “infinity mushroom” suit which not only accelerates decomposition, but digests the toxins in the body so they don’t pollute the earth!
You just never know what you’ll discover here in this coastal paradise!
We also discussed ways to dry mushrooms. Justin, our “mentor,” who lead the session, recommends drying them on a screen rack in a 150 degree oven, with the door propped open to let the moisture escape. This might take several hours. He also uses a commercial dehydrator, which has a heat source and a fan. Again, for a moist mushroom like the oyster, this could take 6 or so hours.
When I got home, I dried them in the oven (natural gas) for about 2 hours, and they were still very moist. So I went out to the studio, found a big darning needle and string, and strung those suckers in front of the fire to dry.
Now, I don’t care how long they take to dry, because my mind is not visualizing those electricity and gas meters ticking over at high speed.
The Thankful HomeAcre Hop