Mushroom Kit - Success!
After a slow start, the mushroom kit really took off. I started misting more often and keeping the block loosely tented with plastic because I noticed the mushrooms grew faster when the kitchen was humid. I'm giving the block a break for a week or so but will soak it and start a second crop soon.
The growth was so fast that sometimes I could tell a difference in just a few hours.
Morning, Jan 17th
Morning, Jan 18th
Pioppino are best right before the caps flatten out, so this would probably have been the best point for harvest. But I was busy and thought I had a few more days.
Morning, Jan 19th
On the morning of the 19th, I tore the clump off the block, wrapped it in a towel and stashed it in the back hallway (where it stays about 55 degrees in winter). This seemed to slow the growth until dinnertime.
Pioppino are known for having stiff stems that have a texture similar to asparagus when cooked. They do require more cooking time than a more tender mushroom but I love the flavor. I trimmed off the base of the stalks, the woodier stems, and sliced the largest mushrooms in half. It was really easy and there was very little waste.
Then I cooked the mushrooms in butter, olive oil, and a splash of vermouth. We added a few of my tiny homegrown cloves of garlic, but left them whole to remove before serving. (I just wanted a hint of garlic) Dylan cooked up some pasta and we topped it with a little parmesan and black pepper.
This was one of the tastiest - and easiest - meals I've made. You could probably pay a lot of money for something similar at a restaurant, but get served fewer mushrooms. I am looking forward to our next harvest and we've been discussing ways to expand the mushroom farm outdoors in warmer weather.
Also - we paired the mushroom pasta with this lovely bubbly funky wine that I have no idea how to pronounce from Campus Fine Wines in Providence, RI. Not product placement, I just really like the wines we get from that place.