pasithea: tankgirlesque (tech)
Both spawning cakes were highly successful with no signs of contamination so I've moved to the next phase of the project.

I am following this process pretty closely.

Last night I mixed up a half cup of bleach and five gallons of boiling water, then shredded the various paper products and immersed them and let them cool overnight. It turns out this was just about the right amount of time. The materials were still warm 9hrs later but not so hot as to harm the mycelium.

Broke up the cakes and packed them between layers of paper materials. The mycelium smells delicious. The wonderful faintly licorice like scent of young oyster mushrooms. ^_^

We made a house to hold the spawn bags and eventually birth them using a couple of bricks, a large shallow plant dish, a tomato cage, and screen. Then Stacey constructed a shell from a heavy gauge plastic.

With some luck, we should have our first crop within a month.
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
--Life--

Well. I ate the lactarius last night and thus far, I'm still alive so things are looking good. :) Actually, I don't think there are any seriously poisonous members of lactarius family. About the worst they'll give you is a serious case of 'tastes like burning' or upset stomach. None the less, I prefer to be 100% certain of my identifications before eating mushrooms.

On the whole... Would definitely eat again. They're easy to identify and pretty good as a snack. I minced garlic and stuffed the caps with it, then sauteed them in olive oil for about 15 minutes. Sadly, cooking removes most of their beautiful color but other than that, they're pretty pleasantly crunchy and nutty tasting. Kind of between water chestnut and woodear fungus. It's possible that steaming and pickling wouldn't suck their color out. May have to try that with the next ones I find.

--Song--

I've been thinking about memorizing a few songs for flute and ocarina. Mostly like irish and american folk tunes. Problem is, I can't find any good books on the subject. There are lots of collections but I'm not really quite good at reading sheet music and humming it to get a good idea what it sounds like. I've picked up old music books in the past only to find that they have a weird scoring or that they're abbreviated or truncated pieces. So I don't really know where to begin looking.

I have come up with a backup plan though. I went searching for free sheet music online and stumbled across a large archive of bad midi versions of various folk songs.... PERFECT! The MIDI gives me an idea what it might sound like and I can convert midi to sheet music. Then I just need to adjust the music to the proper keys for the various instruments. ... Now I wonder if there's a program I can use to shift the key of a score. Possibly I can do it in Garage Band. Hmm. I'm open to suggestions.

Reversal

Sep. 3rd, 2008 11:10 pm
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
Death becomes life, life becomes death. Reversal is a powerful force.

Funny that someone like me who's a bit of a mycophile is also a complete mycophobe. Today I picked some mushrooms, brought them home, chopped them up, and preserved them in a jar. I did so wearing an organics mask and rubber gloves. I cut them with a disposable knife on a surface I could also discard. I then put enough warning labels on the jar that you'd have to be blind not to know what it contains.

I don't know why, but I have some deep primal fear of Amanita Phalloides. Sure it's a deadly deadly poison that kills you in a slow horrific manner and has NO cure but.. I have lots of substances around my house like that. Arsenic, Sodium Hydroxide, Hydrochloric Acid, Sulfuric Acid, etc. I think perhaps it's that none of those look anything remotely like food, or maybe it's just because I was taught such major fear of mushrooms as a child. Dunno. Whatever the case, Amanita Phalloides scares me and I feel pretty uncomfortable having it in my house.

So why do I, you ask? Well.. _BECAUSE_ I'm terrified of mushrooms. It's choc-full of deadly amatoxins and since I discovered the Meixner test and confirmed it works using this mushroom as a test and a plain old Safeway button mushroom as a control, I can now use this elixir as a control in future tests and compare the results of other unidentified mushrooms with it to detect the presence of amatoxins. This could protect me from misidentifying a deadly galerina as a tasty honey mushroom or something like that. It's no substitute for careful identification procedures, but added to the rest of my battery of tests, it's a darn nice safety net.

I must also confess that some part of me likes the fact that I've taken something very threatening to me and turned it into something that will protect me and, in turn, I've taken the very thing that usually protects this little nasty from getting picked. Its rather overkill and unpleasant defense has been turned on itself. Ha!

This is actually a good example of my weird mechanism for coping with fear. Whenever I have a fear, even if its perfectly justified, I tend to confront it, but not just confront it. Machismo doesn't do much for me. What I really prefer to do is take whatever I'm afraid of and turn it into something positive. By finding positive aspects in things I fear, I tend to lose my fear of them in a far more lasting way than merely challenging them. I still have a very healthy respect for mysterious mushrooms (amanita phalloides in particular) but a healthy respect is much preferable to an unchecked phobia.

February 2012

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