September: Love at First Bite
On meadows, where were wont to camp
White mushrooms rosy gilled,
At dawn we gathered dewy-damp
Until the basket filled.
Our theme this month is wild canapés. Canapé means “couch,” and that’s one thing we won’t be sitting on. Wild mushrooms, chestnuts, autumnberry, kousa dogwood, lambsquarter seed, and persimmon are all on our shopping list. There’ll be no potatoes on these couches!
Our special guest this month is chicken of the woods, and we will leave no log unturned to find it. It won’t be that difficult: one of these flamboyant fungi can weigh over 75 pounds. With a chicken mushroom in every pot — plus over a dozen other garden-free foods in abundance, whoever can’t find enough to eat in September must have an Eden disorder!
However they may be served and eaten, mushrooms you must make yours at any cost... Learn to like them; will to like them, or else your sojourn on this earth will be a wretched waste.
Elizabeth R. Pennell, The Delights of Delicate Eating, 1901