Tag Archives: mushrooms

4th of July


I wrote this yesterday, but couldn’t get to my photos so I’m posting it today

4th of July, its early morning with the sun just coming up. I’ve begun taking nature walks in the morning usually going out to Tom Raymond’s Fitness Trail behind St. Luke’s Hospital.

This morning however I went for a walk right here on our 6 acres on a trail through the woods Herb & I put in about 6 years ago.

It runs in an sort of ½ mile elliptical loop from the back of the house past the blueberry hedge and into the woods. Past Mushroom Central (where the shiitake logs are kept), down a steep slope with holly, dogwood, sassafras and other trees, then beside a burbling creek through a mountain laurel lined path, back up a rather steep slope peppered with lady’s slippers in the spring, along a path where the oyster mushroom monoliths line the driveway. Cross the driveway, up the path to the grape arbor, turn and go along the asparagus bed back into the woods to loop around in back of the barn. Turn and retrace your steps and you’ve got a nice little mile walk.

This morning I took some meditative literature with me to read on a primitive log bench Herb made for me down by the creek. I easily get lost in the low chuckle of the creek and the play of light through the leaves there – it was my “get-away” spot long before Herb made the bench.

When I finished my mind journey and continued my walk, I saw two black snakes and a box turtle and found three new spots where Reishi (Ganoderma) mushrooms are growing. Herb & I have been foraging Reishi mushrooms for quite some time now. We dry them out and then grind them to a powder in a coffee grinder to add to our teas.

This is the top of a Reishi mushroom I picked to show Herb – note the shiny varnished look.

This is what the underside looks like, smooth stark white body abruptly meeting the almost purplish stem.

Two more Reishi (Ganoderma) fungi (took this photo just this morning as I didn’t have my camera with me yesterday)

Then it started getting super hot out.

Scooter (on her back) and Pippi hanging together (very unusual!) on the cool concrete in the shade

As I write this, I have a blueberry and pear custard pie in the oven that is beginning to give off a really heavenly aroma. Note: here are some photos I took of the pie later when it came out and after we’d dived into it before going to see the splendid fireworks in town.

Hot out of the oven – Blueberry and Bartlett pear pie.

Served with homemade peach ice cream – sorry, no photos, it was scarfed up as soon as it hit the plates!

I really love our place and this country. I have so much to be grateful for. Deepest appreciation to the brave soldiers that have given their all so that I could enjoy this day with Herb, his two sons Daniel & Zac and our friend Jarrod.

Happy Birthday, America, you’ve got a Grand Old Flag and long may she wave..


Father’s Day Weekend


We had a lovely weekend weather-wise. Friday night we went to a Summer Tracks concert. Originally, we were going to the movies to see Men In Black III but dinner went late so we went to the concert instead. While we only saw the headliner, The StereoFidelics they kicked butt and it was a most excellent show plus we caught up with a number of friends. But it was serendipitous because we ran into one couple we’d not seen for a few months. He’s an excellent musician and I told him of a song my guitarist & I are working on, Anna Nalick’s Breathe and we made plans to get together with the gang for a jam.

I’m so glad we saw him, so full of joy and enjoying the fine music at the concert, because I just learned today that he passed away on Sunday. How fickle is life, only 58, in good (supposedly) health and very much in love with life and his wife. No one yet knows the reason. If dinner hadn’t been late, we’d have gone to the movies and not the concert and I wouldn’t have seen him…

Saturday we went tubing and canoeing on the Green River and then finally went to see MIB III at the theater in town.

Father’s Day started out with my only-on-special-occasions Dutch Apple Pancake for breakfast. Then we went to a local indoor flea market where I found a really cool tablecloth & 6 napkins in dark blue with a gold foil Egyptian motif. I got the cloth for a covering for my work desk in the home office, so teh napkins were a very pleasant extra. Dinner was a chicken and vegetable stew over  potatoes mashed with sour cream & cream cheese with homemade artisan bread. I’d recorded the first Sherlock Homes movie with Robert Downey Jr. and we watched that with some homemade coffee ice cream.

All-in-all a perfect weekend, except for learning about my friend today.

I’m looking at some photos I took over the weekend and am sharing them here. I’m looking at the ice cream, bread and Dutch Apple Pancake and I’m looking at these lovely veggies and fruits coming on in our garden and I’m thinking it might be a good time to fore go the bread-y and sugar-y stuff and jump back on a juice-fest!

The soybeans are from organic seed. Studies with GMO soybeans are flat out scary! So, since I love edamame, I found a source, Wannamakers for organic seed and they are just one state over in South Carolina.

The beautiful shiny orange mushroom is from the Ganoderma family,and is also known as reishi a highly respected medicinal mushroom. Some say Reishi can cure cancer, HIV and a whole host of other dire illnesses. Most of these claims come from people selling reishi pills. In my opinion, these mushrooms, dried and taken in tea form somewhat consistently, will significantly benefit the immune system and support other aspects of the body to effectively keep itself in good health. Again, just my opinion.

Picked beets, kale and green beans to have in my juice tomorrow morning.

Do me a favor – Tell all your family and friends how much you love and appreciate them, right now. Life is fickle and all we have is right now. I’m going to get off the computer and pick up a harmonica, then I’m gonna get the dog and go hiking. I’m going to live in a way I’ll have no regrets.



Beachbody Ultimate Reset Update on Week One


Ultimate Reset Week 2 Day 2

The Reset is going great. Herb & I eat very well for the most part so this hasn’t been a very big change. It’s a bit harder on Herb because it mostly eliminates meats, sauces, gravies and BUTTER (Julia Childs has nothing on him when it comes to cooking with butter!). He likes his foods wet/moist/juicy. I am a-okay with no meat, and I prefer my food drier, yet I do miss my cheese (bleu, white Vermont cheddar, Swiss… stop that, brain!)

The supplements prior to eating aren’t any big deal to manage, but the afternoon alkalinize is a constant struggle to remember because neither of us have a set routine to our day.

Week 1 Day 4 lunch – lentil lime salad, quinoa salad and homemade hummus with veggie dippers.

The foods are really tasty. I liken the eating plan to that of a ritzy spa resort’s fare. Most of it is quick & easy to prepare, some is a bit of a pain in the butt. You can definitely tell it was put together in California because some of the items are difficult to find in our rural hideaway. And Herb is no fan of tofu. I’ve used it in some dishes before this and he’s okay if it is mixed in with other things like in a stir fry, but a slab by itself… um, no.

We found Bragg Aminos and nori seaweed sheets for sushi at our local health food store. I was amazed to learn our little Bi-Lo grocery carried the pink Himalayan sea salt (I didn’t even think Himalaya had a sea!)  We still haven’t found miso paste, so we’ve had to substitute for the miso soup (I love miso soup, so we’re going to keep looking, maybe up in Asheville?)

nori seaweed sheet, basmati rice, carrot, tempeh, cucumber & fried shiitake mushroom

It was fun to try my hand at making sushi rolls – I didn’t do too badly, the little mat definitely helps! But it didn’t stay together when I cut it. My friend Susie D swears the secret is to use sticky rice. And our brown rice would have probably been sufficient, but we’d run out of brown rice and had used basmati instead.

One thing very delicious on the rolls was our first bloom (cracked heads) of Snowcap Shiitake mushrooms. I just dry-fried them to crisp them and oh they were so good. The texture was kind of like the canned French fried onions you put on green bean casseroles, but the taste was sort of nutty/woodsy.

Our mushrooms are blooming to beat the band right now, Italian, Golden & Pink oyster mushrooms and now the Snowcap shiitake, too. I added seven new photos to the end of the mushroom page

So, end of Week 1, I’m down 6 pounds and Herb is down 3. I’ve not experienced detox symptoms, per se, a little more lethargic but that’s about it. Herb, too,  has been feeling a little drained but yesterday he said he was full of energy.

3rd 60 – Happy New Year!!


Herb, Zac & I on New Years Eve

This new year, 2012, is off to a wonderful start! Herb’s younger son and his friend came up from Florida to help us ring in the new year. I took a 6-day photo record of a couple shiitake mushrooms from first flush on Christmas Day on an indoor log Herb inoculated. Check the photos out on my Mushroom page

I’ve been eating just like the old days, and I’m here to tell ya, it just doesn’t have the same appeal as it used to. Although we’ve been eating lots of veggies – still getting good kale, turnips and lettuces from the garden – we’ve also been indulging in lots more sweets and breads.

To celebrate quests and family, and because we had an abundance of mushrooms and broccoli, Herb made Chicken Crepes w/Mushroom Sauce about 5 times in the last month. While it is so tasty, it is not what you’d call a lean dish… Plus he’s been making artisan bread and experimenting with various savory additions with lots of herbs and garlic – very tasty and he’s got the crumb (texture of the body of the bread) and crust down to a science. While homemade and exceptional, these indulgences are not doing anything to further my healthier lifestyle nor my goals for the year ahead.

Herb and I were talking yesterday and agreed we felt so much more energy and less achy-yucky when we were juicing more. I can really tell the difference in my training for the Warrior Drive Five. I’m getting cramps or spasms in my lower back and having to do extra stretches in the middle of my exercise.

Lovely broccoli

So now that the holidays are over, I’m going to juice the rest of the month, starting with the last of the broccoli leaves. We got some gorgeous broccoli this season – cooked to emerald green perfection and it almost had a sweet tone.

We’ve pulled the spent broccoli plants from the garden and I salvaged all the tenderest leaves for juicing. I look forward to sharing my progress and hearing from you too!

Happy New Year everybody!

2nd 60 – Day 22 – Eat Right, Exercise and Take…


We’ve heard it a million times in TV, radio and print advertisements for everything from weight loss products to serious prescription medications for rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and erectile dysfunction. So what does “eat right” really mean?

Using my powerful computer, I google “Eat right America” it comes back with 134,000,000 results. If I google “Eat right kids books” it comes back with 188,000,000 results.  Yikes!

From VegSource.com. Check it out their Lifestyle Expo in October.

Does that seem as over the top to you as it does to me? Maybe we are too far removed from nature and what’s real. Maybe the availability of so many processed quick & easy meals, maybe so many conflicting messages on TV are confusing us?

Are our lives really supposed to be so hectic and crammed with so many duties that we don’t have time to properly feed ourselves? So filled with stuff we don’t want to do yet have to do that we cannot relax or play in joyful movement? In American we’re supposed to work hard to make our dreams come true. But what do you really dream about? Is it a through hike on the Appalachian Trail or affording mozzarella stuffed meatballs with fettuccine Alfredo? Diving the Great Barrier Reef or watching Survivor on TV with a bucket of the colonel’s chicken & biscuits?

Okay, enough of the rant… It just seems to me if we eat right & exercise we won’t have to take… whatever.

Here’s what eating right means to me (and I’ve only been eating over 50 years now…)

  • First – Use smaller plates and bowls to guide portions
  • Eat a rainbow – colorful foods!
  • Eat mostly vegetables, locally grown if not self grown. Try not to buy from outside the US.
  • Eat raw or juiced veggies more often then cooked.
  • Eat salads with most of your meals – even breakfast!
  • Eat a lot of fruits, again, the more local the better.
  • Eat smaller portions of 100% whole grain breads & pastas (see # ingredients, below) about 1 to 3  grain to veggie ratio.
  • Drink lots of filtered water, at least 48 oz a day. Drink other things, too, like herbal teas and such.
  • NO SODA POP, diet or otherwise, ever.
  • Stay away from processed foods. Processed foods are any foods with more than 7 ingredients or any ingredients with chemical sounding names I do not recognize.

I’m not a food-nazi, but I keep these foods to a bare minimum. btw, bare minimum means two to four times a month:

2nd 60 – Day 11 – Puffrooms!!!


Puffrooms can be softball size or much, much bigger!

I know its fall when the Puff’rooms come out. Also called a puff ball mushroom, they are the big puffy looking mushrooms in lawns and mown fields. They seem to pop out over night.

You need to get them while they are cream to light tan colored. If the outside is very white, almost beautiful, and you’re new to mushroom foraging – leave it alone, it might be a toxic Amanita. If it is too brown, it’s likely too old.

Also, you do not want to pick them, or any mushroom for that matter, if they are growing too close to the road. Mushrooms are very much a product of their environment, and you don’t want to essentially be eating the run off from the roads (eww!)

You should also be cautious about foraging for morel mushrooms in old apple orchards where pesticides were used.  Lots of pesticides are persistent and stay in the soil for years, and morels are the best heavy metal absorbers in the mushroom world.

Firm solid white flesh. Any other color (yellow, blue, whatever) toss it!

But I digress.

Best way to tell a good eating puffroom is to cut it open. If the flesh is firm-spongy solid white – well, hot dog!

You can substitute puffroom flesh in any recipe that calls for eggplant or tofu. It’s  good sauteed with onions in an omelet or any egg dish.  And of course, you can use it in any recipe that calls for mushrooms. Some peel the outer layer off, I usually do not.

Here’s a recipe that actually uses the mushroom flesh as the crust for pizza (I’ve tried this and it is fantastic!)

Puff’rooms do not keep well, so use it the day you pick it. If you’re not going to use it that day, they can be dehydrated or frozen, but I like the fresh-picked texture best.

I have no idea why, but puff’rooms  just make me happy to be alive!

2nd 60 – Day 2 – Now What?


Okay this sucks, 2 days of eating and I’ve put on 4 pounds! totally unfair, especially as I’ve kept up all my exercising.

I’ve not gone nuts eating cheeseburgers and lasagne. I did request my honey’s

The Ulitmate Homemade Veggie Pizza - Homemade whole wheat crust, homemade mushroom sauce, peppers, garlic, onion, basil and mushrooms from the garden with store bought black olives and mozzarella.

homemade whole wheat pizza crust veggie pizza. No pepperoni or sausage and I only had 2 slices. Before this program I’d have had at least three if not four.

I actually got an upset tummy and Herb says its because I should have started eating again slowly, like a hearty soup or stew rather than a bready pizza.  And he’s probably right (dammit!)

I’ve not had any meat, only veggie dishes like my Faux Potato Pancakes and a simple skillet fry.

Simple Skillet Fry - 2 small red potatoes, fresh oyster mushrooms, 2 baby red oinions and a yellow pepper all from the garden












Food is sitting on my stomach like a brick. My belly is pooching out again and I feel like I’m retaining water like the Hoover Dam!

I’m going to stick with salads and juices for a couple days  and see if things don’t calm down. I’ll have these heavier foods only once in a while.