Grandpa John was a "mushroomer". Now, I'm sure there is some specific term for those individuals lured into the forest to track down and harvest wild mushrooms, but I don't know it. Frankly, our family just called it "crazy". It's not that we didn't love mushrooms. We had them in gravies and on pizza, and sauteed with onions and butter, which we slathered over steak. Personally, I'd put mushrooms in my oatmeal if it didn't gross out the people eating with me! But my parents and Grandma Pearl did not trust Grandpa's ability to discern between edible mushrooms and those that would envoke certain death.
So, for Grandpa John, "mushrooming" was a solitary event. He'd go off into the forest, pushing fallen leaves around with a long stick, until he unearthed the prize he sought. The only time I'd ever seen Grandpa John cook anything, was on his return treks from the forest, when he jubilantly displayed his booty. Because Grandma Pearl was always certain that the mushrooms he collected were poison, and she had no intention of assisting a suicide, she'd stand back, with her arms crossed, as Grandpa washed his mushrooms, sliced some onion, and sauteed them in liberal amounts of butter. The aroma was intoxicating. I longed to join Grandpa John, as he...Read more