We spent the weekend picking mushrooms. I’m not sure how many cultures in the world actually do this; I’ve heard hat for example Germans don’t care for this eatable fungus and the only people in German forests picking mushrooms are Poles and former Yugoslavians. My friends from the Polish community in L.A. are also the only people I’ve ever heard of picking mushrooms in the States; not in SoCal where it’s too dry, but up north near Mammoth Lakes or even higher into Oregon and Washington state.
We rented a cabin about a three hour drive from Wrocław. My cousin Piotrek and his wife set up this trip and we were joined by another couple at the spot. It was a cozy little place where jokes, drinks, and vodka poured all night. But early the very next morning everyone, well, almost everyone, was up and ready to go shroom pickin’.
This was my very first time searching for mushrooms and I was very careful to first show my findings to someone who knew it from good or bad. I think this is another one of those big oddities of nature by the way; all of the biggest, most colorful and most beautiful mushrooms in the forest are fatal if eaten. This sucks! We were left looking for the brownish, grayish, odd looking things if a forest of beautiful shrooms. It’s not fair! But I’d rather live than have one of them good looking mushrooms for dinner. Every year there are several deaths recorded in Poland due to mushroom poisoning.
Took us about eight hours total on three trips trough the forest to pick enough mushrooms to last me till next year. It will be nice to have Christmas dinner with a mushroom soup and ‘pierogi’ stuffed with mushrooms that I myself have picked. I suppose it’s the simple things in life that bring joy. Mushroom season is almost over though. Karolina’s grandmother explained to me that after the first full-moon during the season you won’t find a single mushroom in the forest. So hurry if you’re still in need of some shrooms, but remember; all mushrooms are eatable, but some of them only once!