As I mentioned, we were vacationing at our friend Red's remote lake house last week. No bats to report this year. No unsightly poison ivy rashes, either (but rest assured that Poison-Ivy-Face will rear her ugly head again, just when you least expect it). The weather was unseasonably cool for July, but pleasant. We did our usual swimming, boating, reading, fishing, jigsaw puzzling, thrift shopping, nature walking, cocktail drinking, and chip o'clocking.
On one of those walks around the lake, we came across these:
Oyster mushrooms! It was a new flush from the rain the night before. By the afternoon, when we came around again to get them, they had doubled in size and the bugs were honing in. We picked a small basket of the newest, most pristine specimens, and then I cooked them up for dinner, having made certain that they truly were oyster mushrooms, not some poisonous look-alike. I double-checked their attributes (decurrent gills, growing on wood), took a spore print (white), and triple checked my work. They were delicious sautéed up in butter and a little garlic. I was 99.99999999% sure they were oysters mushrooms. They looked like oyster mushrooms, smelled like oyster mushrooms, tasted like oyster mushrooms. But that .00000001% margin for potential error kept me up all night wondering if I'd poisoned everyone. I refused to cook up any more mushrooms for the rest of the trip. Not these slug-eaten chanterelles:
Nor these possibly-but-maybe-not King Boletes found under some hemlocks and nibbled on by the local chipmunks:
Instead, we had lots of regional meats (Lupo's spiedies, Snappy Grillers) expertly grilled by Red's husband, and tons of veggies from our CSA shares from Waltham Fields and Lindentree Farm.
Dessert consisted of multiple cartons of ice cream at each sitting. This year's crowd favorite: Ben & Jerry's What a Cluster and Talenti's Sea Salt Caramel gelato.
One night I made a blueberry pie.
Yes, I remembered the cornstarch this time.
The only downside to the visit was the devastating discovery that the Wegmans in Binghamton no longer offers beef on weck sandwiches. We drive an hour and a half round-trip to shop there every year, not just for a more varied shopping experience than what the tiny town grocery has to offer, but also for the shaved roast beef on sea-salt-and-caraway-crusted kummelweck rolls smeared with horseradish. Now where are we going to get our fix? Don't make me drive all the way to Buffalo? Or maybe this is my cue to start making these delicious sandwiches myself? Perhaps I'll start here.