{ I heart mushrooms} + sicilian mushroom stew recipe

I have long been obsessed with mushrooms. But who hasn't really?

Maybe you were like me as a kid, who spent long amounts of time surviving by being outside, laying on the grass, getting a micro perspective into the earth. The blades moved and danced with the wind, parted, and you'd see one, it's silly, adorable little cap. And it totally made you smile. And then your mother would come into the picture and say "DO NOT EAT OR TOUCH :: DANGER"

And really, you were never going to eat it, because why? It was just there, and you knew it was special. And truth be told, the chance of it being dangerous was slim.

To me, mushrooms were oracles. They were some kind of hope as a kid needing to spend a lot of time in the backyard, laying on the ground.

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Mushrooms are the grandmothers.

I say "grandmothers", but truth be told, mushrooms don't have a gender. They are either/or. They are their own thing. They cannot be fit into a box. They burn the box.

They are exactly what we think of when we think of non-duality. They are both, none, and everything. All at once.

I call them original grandmothers, or call them the original ancestor, because they were here before any of us. They are NOT a plant. They are NOT a human. They are totally their own thing

Most likely they came from the primordial waters of the earth. And situated themselves. In connection to Earth. And then spored themselves around like sexy little beasts with wisdom from fucking outer-space... and from an evolutionary stand point- probably the plant kingdom bore out from them and went down one path, and the human kingdom broke out from them down another-  in the earliest stages of existence. {Don't quote me, cuz I am just an intuitive scientist.}

BOTTOM LINE: Fungi are the original ancient. 

AND. As everything else is dying, being destroyed and becoming extinct, they are not. They are growing and spreading, wildly, and there are so many types of them, we can never, ever know them all.

Mushrooms do their crucial work underground. 

What we see and eat is mushroom flowers/fruit but one of the most incredible things about fungi is what we don't see. 

The threads of the fungi (mycelium} are intricately webbed underground, or under bark, interconnecting the roots of other mycelium with other species. The mycelium is actually the living organism of the mushroom. These are the real deal information and relational specialists between species. So thanks to this beneath the surface weblike movement, like dancing through the dirt, we are schooled in woven connections. 

Mycelium is what delivers all the info life needed for growth. Because of the mycelium, our trees can talk with the flowers, the bushes, the plants - other species can send messages, wants, needs, gifts from one location to another THROUGH mycelium. They also boost the immune systems of the roots systems of other plants. A Douglas Fir tree and a birch tree can transfer carbon between them via mycelia. 

Mushrooms are the medicine/energy highways between all that grows, giving and transporting and translating. Bringing together what shouldn't be separated. They connect all that is. We are held up by them. Their spores are everywhere, in our beds, on our kids, floating through our lives.

The inherent need for interaction and care taking, for exchange and connection, is apparent, and in fine working order when it comes to the mushroom kingdom. They are great examples of community. It makes me think::: WE CAN LEARN FROM THIS. 

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I sit daily with the mushroom fruit, knowing the underneath, the unseen, is doing so much work for the forest. Like really radical and underground, a secret society of do-gooders. Not needing to be really seen in their action.  Not needing to be "known". 

And when we ingest fungi, we are receiving the magic from below the forest floor. Mushrooms :: conductors of language and love and wisdom underground and above. The grandmother’s exchange

Being the grandmothers, they pass around the wisdom of Earth, of what is dead, and they gather it and birth all that through their fruit {their fruit is literally made of what is dead, mushrooms are the Fruit of Death}. 

They are also made of star stuff, their spores can even exist in outer space, and are closer to human creatures than they are plant beings. As a matter of fact we share something like 20-30% DNA with them. Whoa.

Personally, I think they are their own very special badass revolution from the beginning of time “thing” :: something impossible to define and what they have to teach is boundless. 

Their medicine is evolution. 

I receive mushrooms medicine in lots of ways :::

* simply witnessing them in the forest- paying close attention and almost trance like walking, seeing which ones will show themselves, not hunting, but paying attention.

* gathering them for food + tinctures + daily medicine.
* making art with them
- spore prints and natural dyes are so beautiful- and fun to experiment with. I am currently obsessed with making oracle cards with mushrooms spore prints::: look for those coming out soon.

one of the spore prints me and the mushroom made - that i just love.

one of the spore prints me and the mushroom made - that i just love.


I also have been microdosing psilocybin mushrooms since the spring. I am 100% invested in their medicine to shift and iron out some tangled pathways of my brain. This story is for another time and venue, but I can attest to the powerful work they have done :: they have helped with focus, anti-anxiety, PTSD, and creative clarity, not to mention upgraded connections to the divine within <<< and this one is a really important one>>> Psilocybin is a boundary dissolving compound that help strips of ego and sense of individuality. I feel this is necessary for my creative life, for my time here, now, in the culture we have created. I like how I am feeling and evolving. 

I remember hearing a story by Terrance McKenna, his theory on our microdsoing ancestors of 40k years ago. After having to leave their canopy housing in Africa, Homo Eructus had to wander to find different sources of food. They followed wild cattle around, and began to eat insects off the cattle dung. Their dung also held small psilocybin mushrooms. They ate these as well, because, they were presenting themselves and evolving humans needed to eat. McKenna’s theory is that these small {micro} doses of daily mushrooms actually aided in evolving the brain to be better at human-ing :: and at that time it was about surviving- hunting and gathering. McKenna also has a theory that mushrooms helped create cohesive societies around 10-20k years ago. His theory for this stage of evolutions is humans figured out macrodosing entheogen mushrooms by then, meaning taking larger amounts versus smaller daily doses for nourishment:

“Everyone would get loaded around the campfire and hump in an enormous writhing heap,” half-jokingly posits McKenna.

Causing greater genetic diversification, these orgies also had the effect of creating the first societies, where males could not trace paternity and as such did not identify children as personal “property," raising them as a community.

These orgiastic sessions also led to the development of symbolic functions in hominid cognitive abilities via early art creation and dance."

McKenna isn’t a scientist, but archeologists and anthropologists agree, mushrooms did play a large part in the daily diets of our ancestors.

Mushrooms ARE the food of our ancestors. From daily nourishment to- in many cultures- entheogens that helped guide them through rites of passage and evolutionary portals.

For me, all the varieties of mushrooms that are safe and edible, that are medicinal, and even the ones that are poisonous are gifts in:: 

-self-care and health, they are superfood, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-patheogen, anti-capitolist {for real though- they share resources non-stop through the mycelium} and co-community and create through spores.

-connection to ancestral energies

-rooting deeper to grandmother consciousness :: a guide to becoming our own wise grandmothers

-helpful for navigating through pretty intense PTSD, which I think we all are going through as a culture right now, we are all in kinda of a state of trauma.

They also connect us to death. Which helps us connect to our grief, our ability to let go, and feel what that means to us.

They are made from underworld wisdom, of everything that has ever been. 

They push themselves up from the dirt, or from what has decayed, and remind us of how beautiful death can be, how wise death is, and in death, there are still so many fruits of life. 

The mushrooms have taught me to seek deeper, to lean more into the great unknowing. They help me with {in}sight. When I am out in the forest looking for them, it isn’t until I get REALLY CLOSE to the ground so they begin to appear. They are shapeshifters. Once I connect with them, and see them, more reveal themselves to me. I like to think of the practice of death, of releasing old ways, of honoring the ancestors in the same way: 

>>>seek deeper, unknow more, get close to earth, look carefully, allow for shapeshifting<<<

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Some of my favorite mushrooms right now are:

lion’s mane

reishi

chanterelle

angel wings

chaga

local polypore’s – which are BLOWING my mind with their medicines.

Amazonian cubensis
 

We {as a family} have been using wild mushrooms to replace meat in our diets. My mantra to my family is: MUSHROOMS ARE THE NEW MEAT.

I want to share a recipe for a Sicilian mushrooms stew – it’s simple and you can use mushrooms that you find locally through farmers markets or co-ops.If you are great at foraging and indentifying - then go for a hunt into the woods {at your own risk!}. I’ll share the mushrooms we use, but know you can swap in and out, depending on what you love. 

  • 2 lbs. of mushrooms {I use chanterelle, oyster, chicken of the woods, lion’s mane, shitake}
  • Olive oil {few tablespoons}
  • 1 large onion diced
  • Salt and pepper
  • fresh parsley, fresh basil, fresh thyme {about 1/2 cup total}
  • red pepper flakes {to taste}
  • 1-2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 small ripe tomatoes- chopped small.
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • Porcini broth, heated, or use chicken or vegetable broth
  • Butter {I like a lot!}
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Heat olive oil in large skillet and cook chopped onion and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Transfer to another bowl.
  • Add more olive oil + butter and turn heat to high. Add mushrooms, season lightly with salt and pepper and fry until you can tell it's cooked, and nicely colored- about 3 minutes. Lower heat to medium. Add fresh herbs, red pepper and tomato paste. Add chopped tomatoes, stir well, and cook for 1 minute. salt and pepper. Sprinkle with 1-tablespoon flour, stir to incorporate and cook for 1 minute more. Stir in onions.
  • Add garlic.
  • Add 1-cup broth and stir until thickened, about 1 minute or 2. Gradually add 1 more cup broth and cook for 2 minutes. Sauce should have gravy-like consistency; Adjust seasonings.
  • Serve straight up, over pasta, couscous or polenta.

Thank you for letting me share mushroom medicine with you. I hope it inspires you to know some fungi in your life, spiritually and for food. 

xx MB

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