July 14, 2011
Mushroom Hunting - it's a sport where I come from!
I've never been a fan of mushrooms (let's be honest people, they are fungi), yet I rarely see a mushroom in a store or restaurant without having a rush of childhood memories of mushroom hunting with my family. April & May were a highly celebrated time with my male cousins especially, who were likely going through withdrawal about the end of the REAL hunting season. The primal gene that runs through the billy blood, requiring us to hunt, find and "kill" what we eat... I'll never understand. But I still spent many spring seasons packed in the back of a pickup (what did you say about "seatbelts" - what are those?), heading out to the woods in search of mushrooms. I still vividly recall walking through the muddy ground, covered in the winter layer of crunchy leaves, carrying my cousin's grubby, filthy mushroom "handbook", bookmarked to some specific color/type of mushroom. We'd carefully walk for HOURS, and if we came home with a handful after a full day, this was considered a success. Mind you, the older cousins were clearly enjoying adult beverages through this process, so how could they really tell the difference between the super-poisonous-will-kill-you ones and the "safe" ones after a couple dozen beers. Let's just say I'm shocked we're still alive - and happy that I never ate those mushrooms!