I didn't think I would enjoy this very much because the gods tend to disagree on so many things.

But everyone is so, well, sweet might be too saccharine a way of putting it. But they are.

dem bones of course was just as I had expected. Tall, stately, quiet, mellow. Really mellow. Really really really mellow. Won't take his sunglasses off.

The farmhouse seems a perfect setting for this Summit. Very rustic, very charming. I almost thought we'd be using kerosene lanterns but the place is not only wired but has DSL.

WickerNipple's a great kid. He helped me make a salad of wild greens. Very nice. Some wild garlic, sorrel, dandelion. A nice tangy bitterness.(Dressing might be a bit too oily though.)

I was quite thrilled to go mushroom hunting with ailie in the dark woods around the farmhouse. I haven't known her well but she put me right at ease, so that was nice. I determined to make the mushroom soup to end all mushroom soups. It's been simmering away now for about an hour.

I cleaned them carefully, sliced a few with this huge cleaver I found in the kitchen, sautéed some slices in a little butter, left some of them whole, and added the lot to a pot of simmering stock along with some salt. They were so rich that they almost immediately began to infuse the stock with flavour and I stood over the pot inhaling the fragrant steam for a while before taking a spoon from the drawer to taste the broth. It was really quite delicious without the addition of anything else. But I decided to add a few more ingredients and tasted with each addition - adding things slowly and tasting a little broth, a piece of mushroom, stir, a little more broth, another piece of mushroom. One must be very patient about these things, and really "listen" to what the soup needs.

The mushrooms swirled in the pot, swirlswirlswirl, and they seemed to do that even when I wasn't stirring them. And then one of the whole mushrooms said, "Oregano.". That was a bit of a surprise. But then it seemed perfectly obvious. It wasn't quite like the mushroom was talking, not as if there was a voice, more like it was communicating with shapes. So I tried to concentrate my attention on the mushroom to say something back, but I must admit I was feeling really quite silly. So I said aloud, "What?" And the mushroom said, "Oregano. One teaspoon. Go get it."

I reached for the jar of dried oregano, opened the twist cap and looked into the countless small pieces of dried leaves. I had no idea oregano was that colourful. There must have been 200,000 different shades of green in that jar. I'd have been standing there for who knows how long trying to remember why I was staring at the oregano but the mushroom very kindly said, "S'okay. Just give us a shake of the stuff."

I said, "Thank you. Anything else?"

A large butternut squash on the window sill sighed and said, "Fsck. (sic) Mushrooms. Why is it always mushrooms?"

"Shut up, t'isnt", said the refrigerator motor, and the room was filled with a droning interpretation of an old Aretha Franklin song which was actually not too bad.

Anyway, I stirred the oregano into the soup, dancing as much as my reach would permit, harmonizing with the refrigerator,
"(ooh) What you want?
(ooh) Baby, I got it.
(ooh) What you need?
(ooh) Do you know I got it?"

Find out what it means to me
Take care, TCB

"Oh (sock it to me, sock it to me,sock it to me, sock it to me)
A little respect (sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me)"

while the mushrooms had a discussion about further seasonings, resulting in unanimous agreement that more salt was needed.

One mushroom explained, "Salt is good. Salt is not bad for you. People are bad for you." So I said, "Yeah, you're probably right. Everybody close your eyes, here comes the salt. It's Kosher".

The butternut squash said, "Butter is good for you too."

The refrigerator said, "I got butter!" and promptly switched to the jingle for a butter commercial.

One of the mushrooms said, "A whole pound of butter would be good."

A mushroom chimed in with "And cream".

At that point, the wooden spoon complained bitterly about the prospect of getting covered in butter and cream and so I did a dunk shot which sent it sailing to the sink and replaced it with a plastic spoon. One of the mushrooms yelled, "She shoots! She scores!" and then commented that "Wooden spoons really don't know their place in the kitchen anymore because people are making them far too decorative". A lime in a fruit bowl behind me hissed, "Don't bitch to me about things being decorative. I've been in this goddam fruit bowl so long my skin is wrinkling." "Don't be so pissy" I said, as I walked past him to get the butter and cream. The lemon sitting next to him asked why limes get so much more attention. I said, "Don't get all shrivelled up about it - you have a thicker skin and can stand up to insult better." The lemon beamed at me. Salt and butter and cream added, all that was left was to serve it.

dannye's looking a bit...alienated. He keeps backing away even when he's not moving. dem bones has finally taken his sunglasses off. His pupils look like pinholes. Something seems to be coming out of the right pupil.

Lord Brawl has his face in his hands. His hands are hanging loosely at his sides. How does he do that? I'm glad everybody is enjoying the soup and salad. It's too bad the bread's that packaged stuff. Still it's not bad as crostini.


I "ve got a sound inm y ears like a bee. I thinki"LL G o back torthe kitchenn