Jam, Club, and Mushrooms.

Topic: England| 1 Comment »
Dear Reader
Random observations from our life…
1.  Jam
Since “people here don’t make homemade jam”, I had pectin imported from the US.
We purchased enough strawberries to get David through the winter (and a normal person through 4 years) and after only a few hours of cleaning and chopping strawberries, we were finally ready. Before ripping the pectin box open, David stroke it one last time while creepily whispering “My Precious!”  like  Gollum. We successfully overcame the absence of corn syrup on this heathen island by using the mysterious Golden Syrup and ended up with a nice supply of this heavenly substance.  I am happy to report David’s life is worth living again.
2. BYU
David downloaded BYU’s first football game vs. University of Washington. Watching BYU football is one of our bonding moments. And I must say I really felt homesick.
3. Club
Last Monday I was invited to the Cranleigh Country Club. Cranleigh is a larger village about 3 miles away from our house and is home to Ringo Starr and Eric Clapton. I am happy to say that the idea of the rich and famous had no effect on me. I simply  envisioned Eric Clapton falling madly in love with me and dedicating a hit ballad to me and me doing an interview with Sean Connery about how I broke Eric’s heart.
I opted for swimming as I have never held a golf club. The trouble is that without my glasses I cannot see anything except for moving human blobs and some walls. So, it is possible that there was Ringo or Eric in a speedo doing laps or sitting in the jacuzzi eyeing me but I would not know.
Worst of all, the rich and famous apparently bring their own towels because the club provided none. This posed a serious problem to me who came unprepared. So, I proceeded to dry myself of my tights– an article of clothing I could easily spare. However tights shockingly don’t have any drying ability. So, I at least wrapped them around my head to stop my hair from dripping everywhere. My next idea was to use the hair dryer to dry myself off. So, there I was in all my glory with tights on my head and in the middle of drying of my left calf  with the hairdryer when a  club member waltzed into the changing room. She gasped for breath and then mumbled, “I think I will play tennis today,” and zipped off. I also gasped for breath, got dressed in 2 seconds, and dripping wet ran to my car.
Not one of my most glamorous moments. :(
4.Mushroom hunting
The most amazing thing about being in the UK is that I was for the first time ever able to just hop on a plane and go home for the weekend. But not just any weekend–a mushroom hunting weekend.
Mushroom hunting is the Czech national sport–even beer drinking and hockey come as far distant second and third. Three out of four Czechs go mushroom hunting at least once a year. The fact is that good mushroom spots are the most valued family heirloom. :) Life revolves around mushrooms in late summer and early fall. There are daily harvest updates on prime time news and of course interviews with premier hunters posting with their biggest or rarest pieces. Early morning buses for the woods are packed because, heaven forbid, you should start hunting after 7–everything will be picked by then.
Some sacred rules of the ancient art of mushroom hunting:
1. Know your mushrooms. Some are eatable and delicious, some are eatable but not good, some will make you sick, some will make you high, and some will kill you.
Disclaimer: I have been trained from a young age, so I know what I am doing. Also, I happen not to eat mushrooms much to my father’s joy who is happy to eat my portion.
2. Never kick a mushroom.
3. Be early. Competition is fierce.
4. Be quiet. There are spies everywhere.
5. Make everyone jealous. Put your best pieces on top. If your hunt was not successful, put socks/shirt on bottom to mislead and frustrate competition.
6. There is no such thing as having too many mushrooms.
7. Bring a big lunch.
8. Guard good mushroom recipes with your life.
9. Mushrooms can be dried, picked, fried, breaded, made into goulashes and soups. Humankind can survive anything solely with mushrooms and duct tape.
10. If hunting in groups, spread out into a row covering as much area as possible. Agree on a secret whistle to keep track of one another.
11. The most senior hunter carries basket and knife and decides which forest to enter and when to leave.
12. If you run into another hunting expedition, try to make it look like there are more of you by calling out random names. If they persist to pouch in your area, pick their weakest member and you try to kill him with your look at all costs.
As always, love you all.



One Response to “Jam, Club, and Mushrooms.”

  1. Jennie Says:

    I request every update have pictures. Consider it.. I am a visual person. Although, you are such an excellent writer that maybe no picture could no more accurately describe what exactly is happening- and I LOVE it. And you all. Keep it up!

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