Normally when fungus is growing in your spare room, that’s something of a problem. Not this time. One of the many fresh cooking ingredients I have been missing since I moved to Guinea is mushrooms. I don’t know why there don’t seem to be any here – maybe it’s too hot, or they just aren’t a big part of the local diet so no one cultivates them – but the only mushrooms you can buy around here are canned.
Well, this week I will be having beef stir-fry with my very own fresh oyster mushrooms, homegrown from a sack of used coffee grounds full of mushroom spores I bought on the internet (http://backtotheroots.com/ or on Amazon). I have a terrible track record on growing herbs and the like and I was worried that mushrooms would prove equally challenging, especially when nothing seemed to be happening for the first five or six days. But then on day seven suddenly fungus began to, well, mushroom forth, and now I have a pretty tasty-looking crop I can’t wait to sample. I’m going to declare this experiment a success, though if I should die a gruesome painful death from bad-mushroom consumption in the next few days I may be forced to reconsider that assessment.