We had a wonderful surprise visit from Roger's daughter Indigo and her beautiful daughter Luna last week. They drove down river to the coast and knocked on our door. How could I have not taken a photo of them while they were here having dinner with us? I don't know. You'll have to take our word for it, they are both adorable in every way, and Luna is especially charming as she is learning to walk, and pulling every electric cord, plant, or object within reach.
What I did get a photo of was this. Indigo's partner had collected these morels
in the forests around the Klamath River. She brought a bunch of them
with her, and we had them in our risotto that evening. I haven't thought
of morels in years. It reminded me of the first time I ever saw them.
to 45 years ago, my cousin--along with her husband and two other
couples-- bought 108 acres of land in the Appalachian mountains of
Virginia. They were all living and working in New Jersey, but they had
been inspired by the "back to land" movement of that late 60s and early
70s, and headed out to find good ol' Mother Earth. I had gone back to
New Jersey from California to visit with them, and we all piled into a
van and drove to Virginia to look at their land. We stayed with a family
who were multi-generational Virginians. They had lived in these
mountains for a very long time.
I remember Wilbur, the
dad who used to "wrassle bears at county fairs" coming in and showing us
these strange mushrooms that he had picked and called them"merkels." He
said they were definitely edible and incredibly delicious. I took one
look at them and thought to myself, "No way I'm eating those crazy
looking things." The only mushrooms I had ever eaten were in Campbell's
Cream of Mushroom soup, and there was no way those tiny bits of
mushrooms in that soup was in any way related to these weird looking
creatures. So I absolutely did not even take a bite. But I also never
forgot them. And years later I started reading about mushrooms and the
fabulous, sought-after morels. When I saw photos, I thought, "Hey wait a
second, I know those as merkels." But morels they were, and true
enough, they are delicate and delicious mushrooms.
when Indigo brought us these yummy offerings from the forests of
northern California, we rejoiced and had a feast. And, I was really glad
to have these old memories from long ago stirred by mushroom.