Thursday, 26 September 2013

Making ink

In other news, The Girl fell behind us in the bog to look at the occasional mushroom, and I didn’t mind – when we and several adults went into a forest to find mushrooms, she found more than everyone else combined. It must come from being so close to the ground.

Mushrooms are supposed to be quite scarce in bogs, but The Girl found a lactarius, a boletus and a puffball, the latter two of which were edible. We also found, in our own yard, an Ink Cap mushroom -- edible when young, although they become toxic when drunk with alcohol.

These were a bit too old to eat, but I remembered that monks in the abbeys around us used to soak and boil them to create ink for their writings. Thus, The Girl and I have tried to do the same.

I let the mushrooms soak with cloves for a few days, and then simmered to reduce the liquid. We've been able to use the resulting ink, but we don't know yet how long it will last.

1 comment:

Andy Brown said...

I've had a lot of pokeweed cropping up around the property. Supposedly the greens are good spring eating (before they turn poisonous), and the purple berries can be fermented to create an ink. I've been tempted to try it out. I read somewhere that Thomas Jefferson wrote many of his letters with pokeweed ink. (The plants are also supposed to be good for untidy gardeners' compost heaps, because their taproots draw minerals up from the deeper soil. Tidy gardeners dislike them because their taproots make them hard to get rid of once they're established.)