Mushroom party: hunting for morels

Jun 24, 2013

Three morels ready for the picking in an undisclosed location in the West.
Credit Jennifer Pemberton

This is my mushroom story. I used to love mushrooms as a kid. Those veggie and dip trays with the raw button mushrooms on them? Those ones. I loved those ones. When I was 4 years old, I found what I thought were some of those ones growing in my friend’s front yard. My mom picked me up later that day and asked about my play date. I told her we’d had a mushroom party. A mushroom party? Yes, a mushroom party. A pretend mushroom party? No, a real mushroom party with real mushrooms.

She called the doctor even though I was feeling fine. The doctor thought it wasn’t too late for some ipecac syrup. So my parents gave me a spoonful of that and waited the 15 minutes it was supposed to take to induce projectile vomiting.  I took some more. An hour later, my young parents took me out into the yard and put me on the tire swing. My dad wound it up as tight as it would go and let her rip. I was so dizzy, I thought I was puking on the sky.

So, I didn’t eat mushrooms after that for like 25 years.