Monday, September 27, 2010

Shiitake Happens

(ready to shroom!)

with the move and catch-up with work i have had to delay my time with the my new little toy that i recently acquired in Oakland-a Shiitake mushroom brick!
i have been wanting to get something going in the ole root cellar and over the past month i had been doing random research on how to start, maintain and grown my own little edible fungi garden.  well the foodie gods were listening to my pleas because when i was in Oakland talking kimchi, i happened to find Far West Fungi, a retailer of delectable shrooms and more importantly-kits!

with a little over a week after bringing it home, i finally brought it out and started my garden-which happens to be about a 1 ft block of fungi goodness...although not too appetizing at first.

the plastic bag acted as a great miniature damp environment-perfect for the babies to start growing. i kept my "shroom bag" on top of the fridge where i could check on it everyday (too much moisture creates the blue-green-grey fungus, otherwise known as "no es bueno") and it was a great topic of conversation to people visiting.
nothing really happened the first few weeks, and honestly i was starting to think that i had a dud, when all of a sudden-little shiitake bumps started to form!

(week 2)

(week 3)

literally within the week, those "bumps" grew into a dozen shiitake shrooms that i harvested and put into a paper bag so they wouldnt get moldy.

i tried to start another batch right after but i guess the shiitake gods where finished with me and the "no es bueno" gods infested my kit and i had to say don't want to mess with them!

(see that blue-green stuff? time to go bye-bye)

with the dozen or so mushrooms, i ended up making this incredible soup, which was kind of like a super-sized miso soup with all the fixin's (very similar to my Sick Soup recipe) and it was INCREDIBLE!

i did eat the mushrooms first before anyone else-heck it was my first mushroom experience and i didnt want to poison anyone!  but i am now totally into growing my own and will be doing this a lot more!

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