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 sat down at the table, consuming forkful after forkful of his potentially life robbing delicacy.
And, after surviving yet another “mushrooming” experience, Grandma Pearl would always say, “You were lucky this time, John”. And, as Grandpa John made his way to his Lazy Boy recliner, to nap after a morning in the woods and a sated belly, he’d smile. I was never sure if the smile was for the euphoric gastronomic experience he just had or if he, in some small part, didn’t believe he had robbed death, yet again!
At this time of year, when the forests smell woodsy and damp, I think of Grandpa John and his jaunts into the forest, looking for edible mushrooms… and I hope there are tons of wild mushrooms in Heaven!
As always, this Woodland Mushroom Applique Block was made to fit a 6″ x 6″ block, but can be enlarged or reduced to meet your needs. Directions for the Woodland Mushroom Applique Block can be found HERE or with our FREE Appliques. Enjoy (Grandpa John!)
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