Can I eat this without tripping my light fantastic?

April 26th, 2011 § 0 comments

A Tolkienesque shroom in the garden.

Mr Ghiblutz, once located a unibrow is easily remedied

So it’s definitely winter. The hound’s hogging the fireplace and I’m getting sentimental about barley and baby cabbage. All of a sudden ‘tian’ is once again a rugby player’s name. I’ve been watching this thing sprouting from afar and an enthusiastic visitor proclaimed that it was edible. Probably… Now, I’m too much of a control freak for a hallucinogenic tagliatelle Alfredo on a Tuesday night so I thought I’d put it out there: is this edible, without joining the riders of the storm drain?

Yes or no?

The first blast of winter is lovely isn’t it? Wet wood spitting in the hearth. The showpieces of summer have withered and the hardy roots of winter stand their ground. Roots rock baby. And mine is in the Eastern Cape. So today, in an ideal world, I would have loved a pot of samp and beans with scraps of soft meat and perhaps a sauce-soaked cabbage leaf. In the spirit of winter foraging I raided the far-flung corners of my deep-freeze and the long neglected recesses of the larder and came up with second prize.

Two pieces of skaapnek braised in olive oil with a handful of pickling onions, two cloves of garlic and a sprig of rosemary. Add about a litre of NoMu lamb stock and let simmer. Then add about a cup of barley, put the lid on, turn the heat down and let it go for a bit. Carry on working or keep busy etc. When I peeked again the barley had absorbed almost all the liquid so it was clearly moving in the stew rather than soup direction. Fantastic. I placed baby cabbage leaves on the stewing barley, then dropped a small blob of pork rillettes in each cabbage leaf, splashed a bit of good red wine around the edges of the pot to ensure sustained juiciness and put the lid back on. I chopped a section of deep orange pumpkin into little blocks to strew over the cabbage.

Mensch food

Gave it another few minutes and then enjoyed not-samp-and-beans but barley with big heart. And it was delicious.

Pampoen met houding

And I added a touch of grated nutmeg at some point. Let me know if you think the shroom is edible. Please include reputable references and pics… plus state your availability for a shroom tasting…

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