101 INTERESTING THINGS TO DO WITH FUNGUS

A SANTHARIAN GUIDE

 
Culinary Adventures   
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Introduction. Greetings, fellow fungi-devotees! Your fascination with the mushrooms and mosses of Caelereth has not gone un-noticed: we have slaved many hours to record the practical – or otherwise – usages of these versatile and remarkable growths. Pray take the time to read through our short but delightful essay on a hundred and one wonderful things to do with ...FUNGUS! (Compiled by Masterbard Judith and Dwarven Foodtender Jora Disyrant)

PS. We suggest that this book would make a perfect gift for the family member who spends overlong reading in the privy when there are others lined up to use it. Merely forbid him – or her, we suppose – to take the book INTO the privy and he will be as efficient as humanly possible, in his desire to spend more time finding out about the amazing usages for these fantastic fungi…

 

CULINARY USAGES
 

1. The pancake-shaped Koeken, a tree-bark fungus, is “useful for adding to soups and stews, with its neutral flavour and spongy consistency.” Yes, it does sound delicious when you put it like that.

2. Dried chopped Koeken can be added surreptitiously to puddings, cakes, and other sweets to bulk them out. Children do not appreciate ‘mushrooms’ in their cookies, though, so it is suggested that one not reveal this ingredient to them.

3. The dwarves roast Koeken like slices of toast, and dip it into the spicy lythebel spread known as JhelHee. Do not try this at home if you are fond of your sinuses. In fact, avoid dwarven JhelHee altogether as it is about 50 % Kragghi sap.

4. Brownies soak Koeken in a herbal mixture and bake it like bread. They refuse to tell humans what is in the mixture – probably just as well, because the result is delicious, and the amount of Koeken it would take to satisfy a human family’s appetite would feed an entire brownie clan.

5. Squilla fungi, the shelf-like shapes which grow on the sides of trees, can be dried, powdered, and shaken on food for a deliciously-spiced flavoring. The powder complements most poultry, especially taenish meat and the common ‘stuffing’ or ‘forcebread’ which is often served with taenish or garthook. Bard Judith’s forcebread is famous internationally and there are never any leftovers.

6. Squilla can also be soaked in oil to create a tasty infusion, which can be dribbled over bread or over roasted meats. It’s quite popular in Marcogg, having gained fame on the tables of the Swanhild family.

7. Fungal Wine! Sounds good, doesn’t it? Nightgrape, a globular fungus which grows well underground, is used primarily by the Thergerim to make both wine and vinegar. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

8. The Nightgrape can also be used to make a kind of pie. We are unable to give any further details.

9. The anatomically-correct Gebl’s Nose mushroom is a culinary delicacy, if one can resist the temptation to serve it with young tuberroots, baby garlick, and other small spherical vegetables…

10. Gebl’s Nose is also said to have certain stimulatory properties when consumed. No comment.

11. The Sulcho ‘Shroom, largest of known Santharian mushrooms, is highly edible. Dwarves, humans, and hobbits all fight over this delectable fungus and prepare it any number of ways... chopped and fried with weeproot is one way. See below for more!

12. Sliced Marinated Sulcho has been soaked in sauces till it absorbs the various tastes.

13. Pickled Sulcho is surprisingly tangy and delicious. It goes well with pickled baby weeproot, or pickled baby beets, or… well, just about anything on a pickle tray.

14. Stuffed Sulcho – hollowed and filled with forcebread, like tiny halved birds… mmm.

15. Deep-Fried Sulcho are the most juicy and succulent morsels, exploding in one’s mouth with concentrated flavour. Hobbits who have dreams of mushrooms and consider them foretellings say that dreaming of deep-fried sulcho means one will be greatly lucky in love or will come into a large sum of money very shortly. We would settle for a plate of real deep-fried sulcho any day…

16. Smoked Sulcho Travel ‘Jerky’ keeps well, tastes good, and is cheaper than the equivalent weight of jerkyed meat. It is somewhat more crispy and less chewy, which some deem an advantage, but they must have weaker teeth.

17. Cream of Sulcho Soup… enough said.

18. Elves soak the Sulcho in a weeproot and spice mixture (see number 4 for a similar use of the Koeken by the Brownies) and roast it like a chunk of meat. Prepared right, it has not only the taste but the texture of a nice piece of venison...

19. Frent Mushrooms: edible, but ONLY by the Mullog race. They are poisonous to all other races, but in some way the Mullogs have developed a resistance. “Though they are by no means delicious, and rather bland, Frent Mushrooms are fibrous and filling,” says the Compendium entry – presumably written by a Mullog Compendiumist.

20. The Eophyrhim Elves are the one exception to the above; they also can tolerate Frent Mushrooms in small amounts. Given their lackluster flavour, one wonders why the elves bother, but perhaps it’s a test of manhood – er, elfhood?

21. The delectable and expensive Truphull can be shaved finely, mixed with Strata milchbutter, and spread on bread or tuberroots.

22. Truphulls add that just-so touch to Pricklepig dumplings. In fact, they are probably the primary reason to eat Pricklepig….

23. Truphulls can be chopped finely and mixed with mushrooms and weeproot to create a richly ‘meaty’ and satisfying sauce for savory dishes.

24. Kao-kao beans, sherry, and truphulls make an incredibly exotic elven drink in Ava’s honour. You could try creating this on your own if you wanted to be accused and tried for blasphemy by your local elven tribe…

25. Truphulls are used in a flavoring distillate known as Truphul(l) Oil. Expensive, of course, but quite delicious, and it keeps forever.

26. Truphulls ….oh, let’s face it, there are a hundred and one uses for truphulls alone. Let’s just assume that the next thirty are all receipts with truphulls in them, and the fifteen after that are various quack cures for ailments that contain truphulls. The cures, that is, not the ailments…

27. – 57 Truphull Receipts. See Dame Sausade’s famous cookbook for the details.

57 – 72 Truphull Cures. Cures which contain the fungus, that is, not cures for the fungus. If you are suffering from a growth of Truphul, it is to be hoped that you are a Eur’oak. If not, we suggest seeing your local wisewoman, chirogeon, mage, or Truphull Snuffler as soon as possible.

73. The Thergerim of Sarvonia create complex-flavoured, rubbery ‘cheeses’ which are actually made from some type of mushroom culture (as their way of life includes very little dairy products) but which apparently are convincing enough to deceive visitors to their caverns. By now you’d think the joke would have worn thin, but the dwarves seem to enjoy the humans’ reaction.

74. While we’re speaking of the Thergerim, they also use a mushroom distillate to flavour their highly munchable tavern snack, Sunseeds. These, unlike their ‘cheeses’, are hugely popular with other races. Salty and ‘more-ish’, these little sunflower seeds are only produced by the dwarves but in enough volume to keep every barkeep between here and Strata happy.

75. Did we mention the Thergerim like using mushrooms for a lot of different things? And that they don’t use milk? A Compendium article on the Dwarven Diet tells us that they consider it to taste ‘sour’ and ‘decayed’, and adds, “where we might use cream to create a sauce or thicken gravies, the dwarves either use a frothy neutral mushroom concoction or reduce meat stocks down to intense proportions…” ‘Neutral’? By whose standards, ours or theirs? ‘Decayed’, hmph. Obviously no one has introduced them to the Ximaxian specialty ‘Iced Cream’, a cold sweetened delicacy available in winters…

76. We have no quarrel with the dwarven ‘Ummadon’, a kind of sweet-sour chutney usually served with meat. Mushrooms are one of the main ingredients, but walnuts, pears, lythebel, wine vinaigre, and malisehoney also play a part.

77. Dwarves. Mushrooms. They either get it completely right or completely wrong, as far as human tastes are concerned. In this case, we must veer firmly towards ‘Utter Nausea’. “Hot Kao‘shroom” is a popular dwarven drink made of a creamy fungal ‘sauce’ with kao-kao whipped through it.

78. Enough dwarven receipts. Let’s see, what else do we have on hand? In the far north among the Ice Tribes, a sort of edible fungus called “Murmir” is cultivated in underground cellars. We have no further information about this murmir and don’t particularly desire any; this is not particularly an improvement on numbers 63, 65, or 67. Moving right along, then…

79. Swamshroom Spread is a peculiar cheese from a Seanian coastal village, which is famous for having a thin coat of edible mold AND tiny mushrooms growing on its surface. We were unable to obtain a sample for testing as it is only available in the rainy season every two or three years – fortunately.

80. We forgot to tell you about a recent novelty in the line of tavern snacks – dried mushroom chips. Personally, we think they lack flavour. Some crunch, heavier saltiness, and more grease would probably be a better selling point, particularly when considering that tavern owners really want to move more ALE…
 

COSMETIC USAGES

81. Oil distilled from the Truphull, known creatively as ‘Truphull Oil’, is used as a scent, hairwash, and hairdye ingredient by the conspicuous consumers (female) of the Sarvonian continent – mostly noble and well-to-do ladies with a lot of leisure time on their hands…and presumably, with a lot of oily hair. The Truphull Oil is said to make the hair “thicker, stronger and healthier- looking”, but on the whole we’d rather eat it than wear it…

82. Orcs believe that Squilla fungi will strengthen the blood for fighting, so it is prevalent throughout much of their cookery. They call it the Kroch’Tlor, which translates roughly as “Good Blood”. The Blaa’kr tribe on the Isles of R’unor believe that it enhances sexual potency. Hobbits say that it will increase one’s wisdom. It seems you can’t go wrong with Squilla, no matter what you’re after!

83. Bikiri, a rare and magical fungus with varying colouring, is used as an anti-wrinkle potion. It is popular with aging nobles and anyone else who has vast amounts of money just sitting about.

84. The Sulcho is not just a tasty large mushroom, but a useful one. It has the ability to draw out impurities. Place a slice over a pustule, skin imperfection, or boil, and you have a health and beauty treatment that costs a fraction of a san! It is not advised to eat the mushroom thereafter.

85. Glowcap Mushrooms, naturally luminescent, are mashed up (or something) to create glowing makeup for special effects on the Santharian stage. Usually this is to simulate a ghost or phantasm in semi-darkness, but some actresses have been known to use Glowcap paste on their hair for ‘a little extra shimmer’. Yes, because we all know that a phosphorous green glow is so appealing…

86. Mitharim females, like their Ximaxian sisters, depilate their facial hair. While the more traditional dwarven clans consider this scandalous, it is certainly more pleasing to the human eye, and they have rather charming, if sturdily-boned, faces beneath which show far more expression than their still-hirsute husbands. It is said, though not confirmed, that the depilation is accomplished by the use of both a herbal lotion (containing mushrooms among other ingredients) and the addition of a particular un-named fungus to the diet. The dwarven ladies aren’t talking, so we may never know.


HOUSEHOLD USAGES

87. Really large Sulcho can be dried and will shrink down to a hard, woody consistency. They are so stalwart in this form that they can be carved and will hold up as well as any softwood ornament. Generally such carvings are given a coat of Gnomish varnish to help protect the still-dentable surface. There are several legends about how families in a state of famine during the Year of Darkness boiled down their leather shoes with their mushroom carvings and made a soup to sustain life! This could have been filed under ‘Culinary Usages’ as well, but the Sulcho already has enough receipts to its credit…

88. Odea Moss is a well-known healing agent, which, when mashed up with a drop of blood added – or several buckets of blood, whatever is available, we presume – creates a paste to be slathered liberally on the wound. It is quite effective but stops short of regrowing limbs or reattaching severed parts. While it has a repellent odour and slimy feel, this has not stopped battlefield casualties from taking full advantage of its powers.

89. The Zerixas is a highly poisonous fungal growth, used, what else, to make a lethal poison called zerixas. We quote: Its one drawback is that it has a strong unpleasant flavour, and it is not undetectable, as it leaves the victim’s tongue and the capillaries in the eyes a dark purple.” We suppose that could be a serious drawback, yes. Wait, why is THIS under Household Usages?

90. Glowcap Mushroom paste is naturally phosphorescent. This natural ‘paint’ can be applied to tool handles, the edges of steps and pathways, mining implements, thresholds, and any other areas where it might be less than convenient to always have an actual light available, or where it might assist older people whose vision is fading. Of course if one’s grandmother is of a sensitive disposition it might not be wise to helpfully paint all her utensils and doorposts a glowing green without warning her first…

91. “The Mushroom Monsters” is a little chant quite useful for terrifying recalcitrant offspring who refuse to go to bed / stay in bed. We shan’t spoil the surprise for those of you who grew up in areas of Santharia where it isn’t as well-known; just visit the ‘Poems for Children’ shelf in the Great Library and read it for yourself.

92. Sou’cald is a fungal moss, which, when soaked in urine for up to a month, creates a longlasting grayish-blue dye quite popular in the Holt region. We really did not want to know this. Nor do we want to know how this was discovered.
 

MISCELLANEOUS

93. Raw Nightgrapes cause a twenty-four hour fever and are popular with young dwarves attempting to skive off from school for whatever reasons. Unfortunately, it is easier to detect a Nightgrape-induced fever than the young hookey-players think; the fruit stains the tongue and the urine black for a day or so. Do not confuse with symptoms of Zerixas poisoning, which is fatal.

94. Bearbane, a far northern lichen which resembles a stone, stores ashy-tasting but drinkable water. One presumes it is drinkable when the climate is above the freezing point of water, that is…which is rarely.

95. Phed’Lon Growth Fungus, harvested from the underwater roots of the Drifting Woods trees, can be used as a rapid fertilizer, encouraging almost instantaneous plant growth. When combined with a slip of the Strangling Vine, this is used to repel intruders – the vine wraps itself around the unfortunate person and immobilizes them. Miraran Tehuriden of Nybelmar hastens to add that “death is prevented by the small amount of nutrients available in the container, making the vine die before reaching a dangerous size.” We trust they measure the fungus very carefully…

96. Moonmoss is a much under-appreciated growth which is not only decoratively reflective but highly absorbent when dried. It can be used in infants’ smallclothes to absorb various bodily fluids, and women’s mooncloths for their courses.

97. Moonmoss can be planted along traveller’s paths and main roadways, giving back a sparkle from the faintest light, whether candles, torches, or moonbeams, and thus outlining the road simply but safely. Their prismatic shimmer is almost phosphorescent. We have considered whether we might employ a dwarven rockmoss weaver to create a stunning moonmoss dress for us one of these days to make a unique impact at the next Noble’s Ball…

98. Did you know that you could hollow out a dried mushroom, drop in a dried pea, and…make soup? Well, possible, but we are told you can also create a musical instrument. Supposedly, “two holes are punctured on either side of the fungi, and the innards carefully scooped out. A pea is then dropped into the now empty mushroom, and if you blow into either of the holes, it causes the organic sphere to vibrate inside the husk, creating a melodic tweeting sound.” Vibrating organic spheres tweeting melodically… We think we will keep trying to master the Trickle Chimes, thank you…

99. Extremely miscellaneous are the strange underwater fungus called ‘Likken’, which only grow on the bodies of Dove Whales. They seem to live in some sort of powerful and mutually beneficial relationship, for whales which have them scraped away often sicken and die shortly thereafter. So far no one has tried ‘transplanting’ Likken onto any other species, though we wouldn’t put it past some of those Water Mages.

100. Querprur’s Love is a toxic little mushroom which is only used for inducing trances or causing death. Should you need to induce a trance, be aware that the dosage is crucial or you may find yourself in a much closer relationship to Querprur than you had intended.


Finally, we leave you with – what else… one last ‘receipt’ from our ever-resourceful dwarven friends, true fungus devotees. We are happy to say that this one is not actually edible.


101. The Thergerim are said to mix Nightgrape dust with water to create a pungent ‘smelling salt’, useful for reviving the faint. Personally, we don’t know what would cause a dwarf to become faint, so the cure might be worse than the ailment.

 


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