It's been virtually a decade since I've moved.
Moving back when I was in college (or even post-college) was easy. You would pack up your stuff into crates and then just drag them to the nicer dorm room down the hall (or up the elevator). No furniture, no kitchen equipment - just clothing, books, and maybe a computer or other knick knacks. Even post-college, my move hardly involved furniture or kitchen stuff. Instead, I just sold my furniture to the next roommate moving in.
Man, let me tell you, it's so much harder to pack up 10 years worth of accumulated stuff.
I've been packing for over a week, and I feel like the end is nowhere in sight. Alas, sadly that means I've done very little creative cooking. This past week I've been raiding the freezer and the refrigerator, scraping together random meals in a vain effort to clear out my fridge before I have to move it.
Meanwhile, during all this frantic packing, I have been quietly growing mushrooms in my living room.
Mushrooms? Indoor tiny urban garden? really?
The folks at Back to the Roots were kind enough to send me a sample box of their own indoor mushroom garden growing kit. This stuff's really fun! It's easy, fast, and the resultant mushrooms are really delicious.
Once you take the pack out of the box, you cut a few slits, and then submerge the bag in water overnight.
Put back in the box, and just mist it twice a day.
After about 5 days, I started to see something! See the little white bit near my fourth finger?
Once it starts growing, it goes fast! Here it is, the morning of Day 6.
When I came back from work, it had visibly grown more! This is afternoon of Day 6!
Two more days later, it was close to being complete! Here's Day 8.
By day 9, they were clearly ready for harvesting. In fact, I think it let it go a bit too long because the edges were starting to dry out. Gorgeous aren't they?
Since I was furiously trying to eat whatever was in the freezer, I invited a friend over and the three of us (my friend, Bryan, and I) enjoyed two sous-vide steaks, bacon-wrapped scallops, fresh tomatoes from Hay Market, and oyster mushrooms sauteed in the residual steak browned bits in the pan (yum!).
These oyster mushrooms were wonderfully nutty and (of course) ultra fresh since I "harvested" them literally right before cutting them up and throwing them on the grill pan. It was a great complement to the random "whatever-meat-I-have-in-the-freezer" meal.
I think these kits are a great idea. They'd be a fun gift for anyone who cannot have a garden. It's a fun project for kids as well. Best of all, you are rewarded with fresh, delicious, "locally grown" mushrooms at the end. The soil inside is composed entirely of spent coffee grounds (currently from Peet's Coffee!). The box has two side, so you can harvest two bunches of mushrooms from each kit.
Back to the Roots has kindly offered to give away one mushroom kit to a lucky Tiny Urban Kitchen reader. For those of you who don't win, you can still buy the kits on their website. You can get 10% off your order by using the discount code: mushrooms4me10. To get 20% off, "like" Back to the Roots on facebook.
To enter, please comment below telling me your favorite mushroom dish. For one additional entry, please either "like" Back to the Roots on facebook or follow them on twitter. Please write a separate comment for each entry. For facebook or twitter, please leave your twitter handle or facebook link in the comment below so I can check.
Right now, if you post a picture of your kit on their facebook page, they will donate a kit and a sustainability curriculum to an elementary school of your choice.
Contest closes this Friday, August 5th at midnight EST.
Disclaimer - I received this kit to try for free from Back to the Roots
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