"hoist a flag pizza oven" fame. I met her for a cuppa at the market last week and she put the idea in my head that I ought to expand my market experience and venture up aisle B. I only ever do aisle A. I'm a creature of habit. Monkey Man has been doing the weekly market shop for 18 years. And he's always only ever done aisle A. So I've followed his lead. He reckons aisle A is the cheapest. Makes sense to me - right on the end, less people go that far. Anyway, that's what I do. A quick waltz down aisle A with my trolley, duck over to my favourite deli and back up the street way to avoid oncoming shopping trolleys to the car. Until now. Now I go back up aisle B to stop at the mushroom stall and see what's on offer.
Yep, I love them. In fact, I have them most mornings on a bit of toast with spinach or tomato or egg and herbs. There was a time when I had to give up mushrooms for a few days and it was torture. Actually, I didn't have to give them up. I had been convinced by the crackpot in the local health food shop and google that the slight whiteness on my tongue was an internal fungal disease that was causing all sorts of problems to me but that could be cured. If I gave up mushrooms (fungus - see the connection) and spent a small fortune on herbal pills and liquids and concoctions in his shop. My sister the nutritionist did attempt to advise me that what I was doing was nonsense and had no scientific basis. Actually, I can't remember her exact words, she was certainly diplomatic. But her advice was not what I wanted to hear at the time. The "health" food shop had seduced me with assurances that my life was about to change dramatically. My eyes would sparkle, my stomach would thank me, my tongue would redden and I would certainly be a whole lot happier. So being the impressionable type, I did what I was told. Every morning one hour before eating I'd hold my nose and resist the urge to gag as I swallowed my pills and medicines. Then I'd jump into the shower, scrub myself with peppermint castille soap and at breakfast forgo my usual mushrooms for a porridge of seeds.
Until day 5 after forcing down the required concoction I vomited. And then felt dizzy and vomited again and had a roaring headache and took myself to bed for the rest of the day.
A few days later I took myself to the GP. Fortunately not the same doctor who I'd fronted a few years earlier after discovering a lump under my armpit. I discovered the lump on the drive home from my mum. Not sure what I was doing prodding about under my armpit while driving but by the end of the journey I'd convinced myself that I was dying of cancer.
Turned out to be a pimple.
Anyway, I fronted a different doctor and poked out my tongue.
"Look at my tongue. It's white."
The doctor looked at me patiently.
"Isn't that some kind of fungus?" I asked.
"It looks like there's a bit of a white casing on your tongue." He replied.
"But isn't that bad? Shouldn't I do something about that?"
After asking me about all my other symptoms (none), he sent me home.
A wee bit embarrassed.
But home to a bagful of mushrooms. Which I've been happily consuming ever since.
So back to that mushroom stall in aisle B. Not only do they sell a whole bunch of different sorts of mushrooms, but they also sell grow your own mushies. I have thought of trying to grow my own in the past but it always seems more expensive and more bother than picking up a bag at the market. But these grow your owns were only $6. And they are oyster mushrooms. If I can remember to water these mushrooms (and I've already forgotten twice) I'll be very happy.
The handwritten instructions on the sign at the stall were not very comprehensive but I quizzed the stall owner and think I'm doing it right. Spray twice a day, lie the pack on its side in a dark spot inside somewhere and chop them off when they grow and you're ready to eat. They claim they'll produce for 3-4 months. Yummo.