Amanita Fears

I went to the plot this weekend with the intention of digging over acres of land ready for mammoth spud burying activities on Good Friday but the ground was too soggy for me to bother. I did a bit of shed tidying instead and laid out a load of the bargain seed potatoes that Dad and I bought from B&Q.


I had to dispose of a load of King Edwards as they were black and soggy with the blight. No wonder they appeared to be such a good bargain.

The shitake mushrooms had ballooned over the past week and had turned a touch slimey. They were splattered with mud from the rain as well so weren’t altogether appealing. Not having tasted them yet I thought I’d overcome my reticence and cook them up with a few sausages.

I didn’t really enjoy them too much. They tasted mushroomy enough but it occurred to me during the cooking process that I didn’t really have a clue what shitakes looked like. They did appear to be growing from one of the dowells that I had inserted but as they were alone it could be possible that a stray variety may have self seeded itself in the log – perhaps a highly poisonous fungus of the deadly variety?

I love mushrooms but this sort of russian roulette with the foraged specimens does really put me off my lunch. I’m not dead yet but them Amanita phalloides takes 6 days to wipe you it, I think I’m on day 3, so watch out for a long delay in blog posting.

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Oyster Imposter


I did a quick flit to the plot this weekend to harvest roast ingredients and to rescue the developing mushrooms.

I was surprised to find a beautiful chestnut fungus occupying the place where my foetal oyster mushroom had appeared only days before. I obviously got my logs labelled incorrectly and these were actually the shitakes.

I picked a cabbage that was frozen through to the core. I probably shouldn’t have picked it in that state, the leaves were practically transparent. It cooked up pretty well though and the flavour didn’t seem to be impaired by my impatience.


I pulled a couple of the shitakes as well but then forgot to add them to my pork chops. They are still on my work surface now so I hope they dehydrate themselves before going mouldy, so I can use them for some exotic dish that I may rustle up in the future.

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