Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Mushrooms everywhere

The autumn rains here have mushrooms popping up everywhere from parks, beside roads and people's front lawns. Also underneath are different colours from dark like this one, to light brown to almost white.

This one I found out in the open next to a track by a park while out walking today. I loved the colour and the pattern of the underside of this mushroom, so I carried it home in my hand. Mind you the other side wasn't worth much it was soggy from all the rain and bug eaten all over.

When I was a kid in the outback we loved autumn as we knew it brought the rains and mushrooms in the water courses between the dams. If it rained heavy and long enough we would have enough water to start flowing and these water causes wound through the paddocks for miles, to a dam waiting to catch the water.

So after we had finished our school work for the day, my younger sister and I'd grab a small vegie knife and 2 gallon bucket each and we'd go for miles picking mushrooms in the water courses.

After a good rain we'd pick buckets full of mushrooms and go back the next day and pick more and we couldn't not tell where we picked them from.

We'd peel them for mum and she would cook them in butter and make a milk & cornflour sauce and by this time we'd think the mushrooms we just plain awful to look at and to smell. Dad would be rubbing his hand together with the thought of a feed of fresh field mushrooms for either lunch or for breakfast.

Mum would save the margarine containers and freeze enough in them for dad, older brother and herself for when mushroom season was finished.

My sister and I got to clean the dishes up afterwards and we still didn't like the mushrooms cooked this way.

But after school the next day, we'd be out again with bucket and knife with the pet house dogs heading off to a water course to pick more mushrooms.

That was back in the late 70's & early 80's and when I see these mushroom scattered in pockets around parks, road sides and people's lawns I smile and think of what used to be.

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