Grow-Your-Own Shiitake Log Has the Starring Role in Shiitake Mushroom Gift Baskets

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A nifty new idea for mushroom lovers, cooks, gardeners, and gourmets is a gift basket with a 'Shroomie - a 6-inch log that grows fresh shiitake mushrooms. The 'Shroomie is the center attraction with a supporting cast of shiitake mushrooms, shiitake soups and dips, and a shiitake mushroom cookbook. Baskets come in Mild and Hot. Hot baskets have spicy and fiery soups and dips. Orders placed by December 16 will arrive in most states in time for Christmas.

A nifty new idea for mushroom lovers, cooks, gardeners, and gourmets is a gift basket with a 'Shroomie - a 6-inch log that grows fresh shiitake mushrooms. The 'Shroomie is the center attraction with a supporting cast of shiitake mushrooms, shiitake soups and dips, and a shiitake mushroom cookbook.

There is still time for Christmas delivery in most states for orders placed by December 16.

The 'Shroomie has enjoyed a long run with Lost Creek Mushroom Farm fans since its debut in 1995. "We started selling the little logs in response to people who wanted to grow shiitakes at home on their coffee tables or window sills," said Sondra Williams, who with her husband Doug, operates the shiitake farm (http://www.shiitakemushroomlog.com). "They're really cute. And they're a terrific conversation piece."

The 'Shroomie will grow shiitakes every two months for several years. It requires room light, room temperature and regular soaking. "To get the log grow mushrooms," Williams said, "you soak it in ice water for 12 hours. You can put in the refrigerator overnight and get a really good harvest. Maintaining the cold temperature is the key because it mimics the natural weather cycle."

The gift baskets are a recent addition to Lost Creek's line of shiitake gifts, featuring their own Redbud Gourmet soup and dip mixes. Mild, Spicy, and Fiery Shiitake Tortilla Soups, Shiitake Lime-Dill Dip and Shiitake Southwest Dip are packaged in little log-shaped boxes, suggesting the hardwood logs that grow the natural, organic mushrooms.

All the mixes are made up of 60% log-grown shiitakes, all natural products, no fats or meat products. The shiitakes themselves are high in flavor and protein and are the second most-popular mushroom in the world.

The Mild Gift Basket includes Mild Shiitake Tortilla Soups and the cool Shiitake Lime-Dill Dips. The Hot Gift Basket includes the Spicy and Fiery soups and the "Flavor with Fire" Shiitake Southwest Dips. Redbud Gourmet Fiery Shiitake Tortilla Soup won the "Oscar" of the spicy food scene, the International Fiery Foods Competition "Scovie" award.

The final ingredients in Lost Creek's gift basket production are two half-ounce bags of log-grown dried shiitakes and the Shiitake Sampler Cookbook by Janet Bratkovich, with 51 kitchen-tested recipes.

The price for a six-sided basket of shiitake 'Shrooms and a 'Shroomie is $45, including shipping and handling.

Christmas orders placed by December 16 will be delivered by December 22 with standard shipping, except for Northern California and parts of Nevada, which will require expedited shipping.

The gift baskets are available online at http://www.shiitakemushroomlog.com and at Amazon.com and by phone at 1-800-792-0053. With the exception of northern California, holiday gifts will arrive by December 22 by standard shipping if orders are placed by December 17th.

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SANDRA WILLIAMS
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