|Take a shiitake (log, that is) - Photo by Wasabi Prime|
|Crossing fingers we get more than fuzzy mold - Photos by Wasabi Prime|
So how does one prepare a shiitake mushroom log? The directions told me to submerge the log in filtered, unchlorinated water for 24 hours, aka, I poured many pitcher-fuls from our Brita carafe. The log is big, too wonky and oversized to fit in a large bowl to soak, so I had to take over our utility sink in the laundry room. This is tricky if you don't have an extra sink you can just sideline for 24 hours -- a large, deep roasting pan might work, and just weigh the log down with a plate. Another option was to collect a bucket of rainwater and soak in there -- normally I'd say we have a surplus of that in the Pacific Northwest, but at the time, we were having some lovely, sunny, dry weather. For future soaks, I'm leaving a bucket out to collect the rain because Occupy Utility Sink was kind of a hassle. Once soaked, I did the freezer-shock, wrapping the log in plastic and letting the log think it was winter, and then it thaws, thinking it's spring, and supposedly this is when the fungal action begins. This is where we're at right now. I have an upright log with some terrifying penicillin action all over it, and with any luck, some shiitake mushrooms will somehow appear from that. And if it just continues to resemble an upright fuzzy caterpillar, I can supposedly try-try again, with a soak/freeze/fester cycle, in the hopes this IVF-like process will hatch me some Octo-Mushrooms.
In the meantime, all this talk of shroomery gave me a wicked case of the munchies. At the risk of making this post even more laden with illicit drug references, I'm taking things to Eleven by offering up these unholy, delicious treats: Crazy Hot Cheeto Crispy Bars. For those who celebrate every day like it's April 20th.
|Waiting for 'shrooms, but getting wicked munchies instead - Photos by Wasabi Prime|
So, what's in this mad, Snackiavellian treat that would make any stoner's eyes glaze over with lazy delight? Pretty simple: Rice Krispies, peanut butter, peanuts, marshmallows and a bag o' Crazy Hot Cheetos. It's just a typical Rice Krispy Treat recipe, modified with less of the puffed rice to make up for the pyroclastic tsunami of crushed red Cheetos, which add a super salty-spicy kick. The finished bar has the texture of an alien landscape, it bears a fearful color, and the second you take one bite, you're going to eat the whole batch in one sitting. Just remember when sharing, please... pass it on the left-hand side.
|Weapons of Mass Destruction - Photos by Wasabi Prime|
Crazy Hot Stoner Snax
8 tablespoons of butter
1 package of mini marshmallows
1/2 cup unsweetened peanut butter
3 cups crushed unsalted peanuts
3 cups crushed Crazy Hot Cheetos
3 cups Rice Krispies cereal
In a large pot (heh-heh), melt butter over medium-low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until melted. Add peanut butter and continue to stir until melted and fully combined. Remove from the heat and add peanuts, Cheetos and cereal into mixture and stir until everything is coated and sticky. Pour the mixture into a buttered baking dish and press the mixture evenly into the pan until it's compacted and level. Let the mixture set and cool for an hour or two. Unmold and cut into squares. Let the feasting begin.
*Post Script: Since the writing of this post, the Shroom Log had some false starts, so I tried to reboot its fungal powers, even leaving it outside to let nature try to coax the spores to do their thing. With any luck, maybe shiitake happens.