white ash tempeh
Monday, December 21 2020
Since the snow has prevented me from replenishing it, over the past few days, I've been forced to use wood from deeper and deeper in the indoor firewood pile. Some of that wood is from a long-dead white ash that fell just across Dug Hill Road and was partially processed by the Hurley highway department. The bark of that tree had been covered with smallish shelves from a woody shelf fungus, each shelf about an inch in diameter. Even after I cut up the ash and moved it indoors, that fungus apparently still had enough water (and life) to continue growing. It actually managed to bond together adjacent pieces of the wood with interfingering mycelia, resembling the fungal mat that knits together soy beans in tempeh. Seeing that the fungus was still alive and doing its best to survive, I felt kind of bad throwing it in the fire. But this is no worse than cooking mushrooms or tempeh.
I spent the afternoon and evening waiting for a very large tax import to happen and then re-happen. I was trying to get to the bottom of a problem, and every time I'd make some experimental change to the code I'd have to wait nearly an hour to see the results. To pass the time while I waited, I took advantage of the slightly warmer weather (temperatures were in the 40s) to remove compacted snow from the path in front of the house. It wanted to come up in intact pieces, leaving the flagstones satisfyingly naked.
Eventually I pruned down the tax import dataset to a little more than a single problem parcel I was looking at, and this vastly sped up my debugging. But still this work lasted until past 9:00pm.
Meanwhile Gretchen had come home from another gangbuster day at the bookstore (sales had exceeded $4000) and made some sort of Korean simmer sauce (with rice) from a packet. It smelled like feet, but it tasted okay.
As I lay in bed tonight trying to get to sleep without any drugs at all (my usual pattern for Monday nights), I felt like my throat was slightly swollen, and this made it ever so slightly difficult to swallow. Additionally, I felt like I was producing an unusual amount of saliva. I wonder if I was experiencing a milt allergic reaction to something in that Korean simmer sauce. It was either that or coronavirus.
The state of the indoor woodpile today, with Neville and Ramona.
A close-up of the mycelial mat on the surface of a piece of white ash. In the background is a piece covered with fruiting fungal shelves.
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