Saturday, January 23, 2010

Mushroom Camp, Fancy Food Show, Then Life

Even though I wrote right here on my blog that I was going to bring my camera to mushroom camp, I managed to forget it. It's probably a good thing that I did because there was so much work to do that I would not likely have had time to use it. My friend Ellen snapped the one photo that I wanted of me with Saul and Moon Planits (aliases), featured here. It's not everyday that you meet people with such unusual names, but SOMA mushroom camp is that kind of place. If I'd had more time out of the kitchen, it's likely that I would have discovered other interesting people.

I actually managed to get out to a class taught by Christopher Hobbs, L.Ac. on how to make medicinal mushroom tinctures but it was just then that I realized that we had to count bowls which would hold all the darned condiments for our outrageously complicated-to-prepare-and-cook Asian street food meal, put together by Mycochef Patrick Hamilton, pictured with me below, in a pretty unflattering but "real" photo. So, sitting in a class didn't really work for me and I didn't make it out of the kitchen much but the meal got rave reviews.

We had an incredible team of volunteers, too many to mention so forgive me if I haven't included your name (you know that I adore all the volunteer "kitchen slaves"), who worked their butts off. Below is Andy ("The Toolman") Still and his wife Gayle. Andy brought his industrial strength Robot Coupe with more blades than I ever knew existed. That machine saved us from kitchen failure and melt down although we know now that those blades are very, very sharp. Nothing further shall be mentioned regarding this or any other things that needed nursing.

Included here is also a kind of dark photo of me with my dear friend Dee, who does incredible hand reading, and is a force to be reckoned with in the kitchen. All photos by my "right hand woman" Ellen. I know that I ought to have some food photos but those will hopefully show up somewhere else, like on the SOMA Mushrooms website but nothing yet (or I've just been too busy to check).

Sunday night I left Mushroom Camp in a heavy downpour (both myself and the weather), ready for my bed at home, and the next day working on writing assignments at The Fancy Food Show at Moscone in San Francisco.

I had hoped to see, and stay with, my friend Sonnie but the weather (still raining) and my mood (both a bit wet and bedraggled) didn't allow that. I walked the show floor all day, missing a number of interesting items as I was focused on my story leads about beverages and cheese (of all things). And, once again, I forgot my camera. I ought to have it somehow surgically implanted so that it goes with me everywhere.

I managed to test out the chocolates, grains, gluten-free products (in abundance), agave (how many kinds can there really be? At least 2, I found out - white and blue.) and popcorn. It looks like popcorn is the latest, greatest "new" snack food. At the end of the day, I was ready to head back home for a fairly quiet week of work.

And I got that for a few days until Thursday afternoon when my 16-year old son called to tell me that he needed a ride home and that he likely needed to go straight to the hospital to have his appendix out. So, I picked him up, took him to Kaiser Permanente and we spent 6 hours in the emergency room, minus a short time in radiology for a CAT scan to determine that, yes, he did need his appendix removed, an hour in surgery pre-op, an hour post-op and at about 3 am we made it to a patient room, where my uncomfortable son tossed and turned in a hospital bed while his exhausted mother slept in a most uncomfortable chair for a few hours. When I awoke, I drove home to rest for a while and gather my thoughts.

Son is resting uncomfortably at home now, and I had a most remarkable deep sleep last night. I guess that somehow hard work pays off and you never know what the reward will be. I am grateful for the little things -- health, sleep, air, a roof over my head, the sunshine, rainbows, and so much more. May your next week be less eventful.


Wei-Shin and Jason said...

Oh wow! You got to meet Dusty and Paul Stamets! I'm always buying their mushroom kits, and I rely on the Paul's books for my mushrooming. He signed a couple of books for me at a Weil Nutrition conference I attended a few years ago. We're good friends with Bill Russell, the Pennsylvania mushroom expert, and we go foraging when weather permits. Small world Veggie Queen!

The Veggie Queen said...

Wei-Shin and Jason,

Yes, on the small world. You are the only ones so far who have guessed the people who took on not-so-clever aliases.

Paul is pretty darned smart in my book. I've met Paul many times before as I have been firmly ensconed and entranced with mushrooms for a number of years now.

I go to Johnstown, PA in the summer for Vegetarian Summerfest and she mushrooms then but aren't sure what they are. No edibles that I've seen but I only have a small foraging area.

Nice to meet you here and elsewhere. Thanks for visiting.


Wei-Shin and Jason said...

Sounds like a yummy Summerfest! The mushrooms in the Laurel highlands would be very different from the ones we have in the Valleys of central PA. The mountain ranges really separate the fungi.

Pandora's OEM - Make The Switch said...

I am also a mushrooms lover and I try different recipes for mushrooms. But i love mushroom with pasta and the mushroom soup. I am looking forward some BBQ mushroom dishes. Thanks for the blog.