Hello beautiful people- possibly this story will make some of you laugh.
So I tried hard previously to grow mushrooms, with mixed results. I've had some successful grows, but mostly contamination gets them early. About 6 months ago I started some cakes and most contaminated- a couple fully colonised but never fruited. I forgot about them and moved on.
Fast forward to this summer. Amongst the kale, suddenly these beautiful clusters of giant brown mushrooms appear. I ignored them for a while, but eventually they were crowding the kale and I had a good look at them. They look like portobellos or something. BIG things. They look a lot like supermarket mushrooms. I think to myself...you know, these are probably growing from the bags of compost I bought at the nursery! It was probably spent mushroom compost. HAHA I am getting free mushrooms. So I spent the afternoon googling how to tell if they were toadstools or poisonous...and based on what I read nope, they were certainly not going to kill me and were 99% FINE. The interwebs tell me that the only really nasty mushroom in Australia that can be mistaken for a field mushroom (supermarket type) stains yellow and smells like kerosene. I picked the mushrooms- probably at least 5kg of up to saucer-sized caps and fleshy white stems. No yellow staining. Smell like mushrooms.
OK- I am going to be a scientist...I wash and slice up about a kg of these babies and cook them in a wok. I like my cooked mushrooms REALLY cooked. All the liquid boiled off, the flesh almost burned. My kg of mushrooms cooks down to about a cup of lovely dark brown, delicious smelling mushroom pieces. I get some eggs and scramble them, and then stir in the mushrooms. FANTASTIC. I have just cooked about $20 worth of mushrooms for free. I am so smart.
I sit down and eat my amazing omelette. No stomach pain, no cramps. These are not toadstools. About 20 minutes pass. I start to feel a strange but familiar tingle in my brain. Hmm...I get up and take another look at the mushrooms still in the bucket. The stems I bruised looking for the yellow stain are turning blue. "Hello darkness my old friend...."
Even though these were cooked, and I mean COOKED- suffice it to say the next 4-5 hours were an EXTREMELY rough ride. That was a LOT OF MUSHROOMS.
Trying to explain to my SO that it made no sense- he sheepishly admitted that he threw my forgotten, presumably non-viable cakes into the garden bed months ago. I could not stop laughing- struggling to grow a few handfuls of tiny mushrooms under strictly monitored conditions, we then accidentally grew a bumper crop of gigantic frighteningly potent heat resistant boomers in the kale patch. I don't even remember which spores I used on the original cakes.
Spent the next 2 days running the monsters through the dehydrator.
Thank you for coming to my TED talk.