Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Holy shiitakes!

I was swatting away flocks of hungry mosquitoes and pinching off endless limbs from some of the most gigantic tomato plants ever on Sunday afternoon while Kenton napped on the couch upstairs. (Yes, I have a real couch in a real upstairs at the new place!) As I stepped back to marvel at the growing pile of tomato branches and the single red tomato produced by the 5-foot plants, I leaned to the right of the back yard's single raised bed to see if I might have missed any errant plant bits that needed to be removed. I suddenly noticed some growths on the oak logs propped against the shaded fence...

HOLY SHIITAKE, another harvest! A real one!!

After two years of near dormancy, save two shrooms a couple of months ago, one of my shiitake logs presented a rather generous peace offering. (Maybe it knew I had contemplated donating them to the great compost pile in the sky not too long ago.) I scampered up two and a half flights of stairs with close to a pound of gorgeous mushrooms and as we admired them piled on my kitchen table I began to scheme how best to prepare and enjoy this most delectable and unexpected fungal feast. In a stirfry? Sauteed with butter and loaded onto toast? Was I somehow out of tamari?? Noooooo!

In the end, they ended up sauteed in thick slices in butter with homegrown garlic and thyme and a generous helping of sherry. Served over a bed of creamy rosemary grits, Kenton agreed they might have been the most delicious mushrooms ever.

I may or may not be checking the logs twice daily now.


  1. Wow, that sounds super simple and incredibly delicious! Congrats on your harvest. I'm having the same problem...huge tomato plants, very little fruit. Is it not too late to prune for more blossoms?

  2. No, it's not too late to prune tomatoes. In fact, considering the late blight that tomato plants in our region are experiencing, it would be a good idea to prune leaves, especially yellowing/browned leaves, to increase airflow. It won't create more blossoms, but may help your existing green tomatoes ripen. Good luck!


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