A couple weeks back, Hurricane Earl gave us a scare. It threatened our coastline, so we battened our hatches. The storm ended up weakening and veering out to sea, so all it did was down branches, rattle windows, and disorient the poultry.
But Earl worked wonders for the shiitake mushrooms. Our logs had been more or less dormant throughout the summer. We’d had a couple here and a couple there, but it was mostly too warm and dry for the mushrooms to fruit. Earl gave them a good, hard soak, and a few days later Kevin saw the mushrooms poking through the bark. He counted them, and then came inside.
“Make me a market on how many shiitakes we’re going to have in about a week.” (Remember, Kevin was a commodity trader, and the language of the trading floor has worked its way into our marriage. In a nutshell, this is his way of asking me to guess how many mushrooms are out there – but if you’re interested in a more cogent explanation of the phrase, I went into it in gory detail in this post.)
I figured we’d get a bunch, but I had no idea how many. I guessed. “Six bid at nine.”
“Take ‘em!” he said, before the words were completely out of my mouth. So, more than nine.
“Fifteen at twenty?”
And so on, up and up, until he finally just told me the count. Eighty-two.
Eighty-two shiitakes! And so it was. Over the last week, we’ve harvested something like five pounds of mushrooms. It’s an ill wind that blows no good.