Olivia Dish

Archive for June, 2010|Monthly archive page

So, Farro? So Good.

In Homemade, South Carolina on June 23, 2010 at 8:46 am
piccolo farro

Piccolo Farro

Last Saturday at the farmers’ market, I picked up the bag of piccolo farro as an afterthought.  I’d planned to buy Anson Mills oats and popcorn, both excellent.  The cute 11-year-old girl at the table tried to sell me some grits too, but I have a rather large bag of those in my freezer.

“Maybe I’ll try this,” I said, picking up the white-paper-wrapped package of farro.

“Everyone seems to like it except me,” the girl said, “ but I’m more of a pop tart person.”  Poor little one.  I proceeded to give her detailed instructions for making homemade blueberry tarts that taste even better than pop tarts, I promised.  She listened politely, even thanked me (though I suppose she was mostly just thankful when the spiel ended). So of course, I had to buy the farro.

Good, I suppose, that I am a blueberry-tart-recipe-spouting bore, since farro is fantastic. Who knew?  Maybe you did.  I’m sure plenty of people do.

And yet….try to find consensus on what farro is and you’ll start to wonder what anyone knows about it.  Is it spelt? Something else?

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Escape to Mushroom Mountain

In Fancy Farms, Homemade, South Carolina on June 5, 2010 at 10:21 pm
Mushroom Mountain

The trail at Mushroom Mountain

I want to grow mushrooms. I’ve been thinking about this for a while. Today, I visited Mushroom Mountain near Liberty, SC, and left with baggies of spores and such. Tomorrow morning, my life as a mushroom farmer begins.

Maybe I should’ve seen this coming. My father had this idea, when I was a kid, that he’d take up mushroom hunting and train his four daughters in the foraging arts. My mother, fearing she would lose her entire family in a single afternoon, put her foot down. Absolutely not.  My father’s Field Guide to Mushrooms was shelved.

My relationship with mushrooms is nine parts my dad, one part my mom. I’m entranced, much as my father was, by their mysterious behavior, strange beauty, and of course, unmatchable taste.  But the one part that is my mother fears that mushrooms I forage will kill me.

When my friend Whit DeSpoon first presented me with golden, ruffly chantarelles he’d collected, it was my mother who took over my brain for a bit.

“I can’t eat those! You can’t eat those!” I shrieked.

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