The Mushroom Festival
Do you like mushrooms?
There is a place just outside town here in Eugene called the Mt. Pisgah Arboretum. They do a mushroom festival once a year, and invite the whole community.
Of course this was my first time going, and it was fantastic. I felt like a little kid. There was old-timey music playing and delicious, earthy smells floating around. You had to drive into the park a ways to get there, and then walk, leaving all evidence of cars behind. The festival was in a little dell, and with the grey skies and the forest looming behind us, it was like going back in time.
Of course it was Halloween as well, so people and kids were all dressed up. Often around a mushroom theme. Witches, scarecrows, toadstools and slugs all walking around. And of course, the hippies.
A big group of folks was dancing in front of the band. It made me laugh. It seems like people where I'm from are too uptight for that, at least when there are strangers around.
I don't know. Maybe it is just me that is uptight. But people were definitely having fun. It was woodsy, and earthy, and happy. There was a scarecrow contest, and this green man was the winner.
There were mushrooms of all kinds on display, common and rare, poisonous and delicious (carefully marked, of course).
Mushrooms that smelled like hazelnuts, apples, socks. Lobsters, toadstools, truffles and lichens.
Every shape and size.
Some tiny as pin heads.
Some big as my head.
Every color of the rainbow.
And YES, if you were wondering, there were mushrooms to eat. More than we could afford to try, and all washed down with fresh-pressed, hot apple cider. Do you know how good that is?
There were fried blue oyster mushrooms. There was cream of mushroom soup. And there were two kinds of mushroom ragouts in phyllo dough. One with chicken, and one that was vegan. I got the vegan one, not because I am vegan, but because I thought without all that chicken there would be more room for mushrooms.
Yeah, I think I could live here for a while.