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40th Annual Wild Mushroom Fest

Most people going to Sand Point this weekend went to the NW Bookfest. I chose the parking lot less travelled, and visited the Wild Mushroom festival held by the Puget Sound Mycological Society, and I'm glad I did.

The whole show was small (about 1500 people attended over two days) and low-key.

First off, the chef of La Gourmand came to cook for us: chanterelles in Cognac sauce, Boletus with a tomato reduction, and matsutaki (lit. "pine mushroom") with mussels and lots of butter. The cookery was fantastic, though the sample sizes were small. Matsutaki are definitely worth hunting down, and apparently this has been a good year for them.

I also ran into Rob Heinsoo, a fellow game designer from the old days at WotC. His wife and sister-in-law are apparently big in the PSMS scene. Wish I'd had more time to chat with him; perhaps we'll meet up again at one of the PSMS events.

In the most impressive room, they offered a great display over over 200 mushrooms species collected from the wild and sorted by classification and edibility. They had a 3-pound Boletus. They had exotic Amanita varieties. They even had a small "petting zoo" of specimens available to touch and smell. It was home-spun and non-commercial, and events without a profit motive seem to be so very rare in America these days. They had a small stand selling books and mushroom starters and so on, but the vendors were small, family businesses and arts/craftspeople.

Charmed by the low-key friendliness, Shelly and I spent the dough to become members of the PSMS. The first few field trips include Deception Pass and a few spots closer to home. We'll go on our first hunt on the 25th.

I had to leave sooner than I would have liked (back pains came back in mid-afternoon), but I'm very pleased to have checked out the show. If it leads to collecting some goodies in the next month, when the rains and weather are perfect, I may hold a mushroom dinner party.


( 3 sutras — Your wisdom )
Oct. 20th, 2003 07:58 pm (UTC)
Dinner party? Mushrooms? Count me in!
Oct. 20th, 2003 08:41 pm (UTC)
Oct. 22nd, 2003 08:13 pm (UTC)
mushroom petting zoo?? Man. I miss all the good times. -- bb
( 3 sutras — Your wisdom )

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