Sunday, August 31, 2014
When I was very little my father and I found mushrooms like these growing under the barbed wire fence on the koppie over the road from our house. The land on the other side of the fence belonged to the state president. But we figured the mushrooms belonged to us. My mother said they were horse mushrooms (Agaricus arvensis) and cooked them for my father's supper. But we didn't eat any. Just in case, she told me, years later.
Occasionally I see perfect large brown mushrooms in local supermarkets. These were at Best Yet, on Frederick Douglass Boulevard. Delivery seems to be once a week and if you hit them on the right day they are perfect - six inches wide and plump with moisture. Six days later the same poor shrooms lie wizened and gasping and ignored.
We ate these filled with an old fashioned combination of garlic, breadcrumbs, fennel and parsley, with a squeeze of lemon juice. Forty minutes in a very hot oven.