A couple months ago I was contacted by Back To The Roots, a company that sells grow-your-own-gourmet-mushroom kits using composted coffee grounds. Before I even got two sentences into the email from them I had hit reply with a message that went something like this:
“Yes! Whatever you’re asking me, yes! I love mushrooms. LOVE ‘em. What do you want me to do? I’ll do it!”
And then I sensibly went back and read the rest of the email.
As it turned out, my original response was entirely suitable to what they had asked me. They offered me my own oyster mushroom kit, a kit to give away to my readers (that’s YOU FOLKS!) and a ten-percent discount code for the rest of you to use so you can order your own kits from Back To The Roots. (Discount code: mushrooms4me10 ). And let me tell you, I was pretty impressed with the company.
I waited until I got back from the ranch to start growing my mushrooms and it’s a good thing I did because eight days in, BAM. I had about a pound of giant, gorgeous oyster mushrooms shooting out of my kit. I got so excited that I sliced them all off and cooked them before it even occurred to me to take a picture. Ahem. I was excited. Did I mention I like mushrooms a lot?
Thankfully, the instructions told me how to get a second crop from the kit and I wrote myself many little sternly worded notes about taking a picture before cooking the mushrooms. This was my second crop:
I had never noticed before just how pretty mushrooms are. They’re so delicate and lovely that it was almost a shame to slice them up and cook them.
…Almost a shame. Not quite. No. Not really at all. I carried on and sallied forth and made one of the best summer meals we’ve had this year. Korean-Style Teriyaki Beef Lettuce Wraps*.
*If this beef looks familiar, it’s because it is. This is a very gently adapted version of my Jangsanjeok recipe but served over garlicky oyster mushroom soba noodles and wrapped in lettuce.
Don’t let the length of the ingredient list freak you out. The recipe is incredibly simple to pull together. Both the beef and noodles can be prepared as much as a day in advance of serving, making it a great solution for summer entertaining on steamy evenings. Substantial but not heavy, flavourful and exotic, these lettuce wraps are a crowd-pleaser. Alternatively, you could skip the crowd and eat it all yourself. Not that I’ve done that. I’m just saying.
So, this contest. You want the rules? Leave a comment. Tell me what you would do with your oyster mushroom bounty. Tell me how cool you think it is that they grow in composted coffee. Tell me you’d give this kit to your Aunt Marge because she loves mushrooms. Just tell me something! The winner will be chosen by random.org and announced here on Monday, August 15th. Good luck everyone!
Update: Our winner is lucky comment #50: Janis who will be naming her burl Roger Please email me your mailing address, Janis and happy mycelium tending.
A free mushroom kit was sent to me and one is being provided for this giveaway by the generous folks at Back To The Roots but all opinions and experiences discussed here are my own. What can I say? I’m enthusiastic about this product.