Author Archives: rkcunningham

Entoloma salmoneum (Peck) Saccardo  Entoloma salmoneum can be found growing alone or scattered in leaf litter under hardwoods, or in moss under conifers; frequently on rotting, moss-covered conifer logs. When thumbing through Mushrooms of the Midwest, you see Entoloma salmoneum among the … Continue reading

The Boring Pizza? Oh ho, not at all! Cheese pizza is a godsend perfect for kids’ birthday parties and church meetings. An icebreaker. A hand across countless divides. A relatively cheap chow-down. Cheese pizza deserves a Nobel Peace Prize. With National … Continue reading

Mutinus elegans (Montagne) E. Fischer Usually at least partially submerged in the ground; appearing like a whitish to pinkish or purplish “egg” up to 4 cm high; when sliced, revealing the stinkhorn-to-be encased in a gelatinous substance. Mutinus. Inspired by … Continue reading

Forget Halloween. August is the time for monster mashing in Illinois. One peruse of the state’s long history of monster sightings shows that warm summer nights bring the cryptids out of their otherworldly lairs to frighten rural folk and interrupt … Continue reading

Seven-year-old Jesse W. Weik was in the crowd when Abraham Lincoln’s funeral train passed through Indianapolis on its way to Springfield. Weik’s father, an immigrant baker and grocer, lifted his son to see the late president’s body. Years later, the … Continue reading

There’s nothing more American than soft-serve ice cream. It provides the dairy and sweetness we crave in an attractive shape atop a sugary cone that encourages mobility. And we dispense the tasty snack via a machine that smashes it with compressed … Continue reading

This week marks the anniversary of the death (?) of Elvis Presley, a transformative cultural figure of the twentieth or any other century. If you have memories of that afternoon in 1977, you perhaps recall what you were doing when news of … Continue reading

Book lovers enjoy writing/talking about the sanctity of books. The tactile pleasure. The superiority of the physical object to the ethereal electronic version. The knowledge. The immersive experience. The old friend thing. But the time comes when every bibliophile must face … Continue reading

Yesterday marked the birthday of tennis champion Helen Jacobs. Born in 1908, Jacobs learned her trade in Berkeley, California before going on to a term as the world’s top-ranked player and the winner of nine Grand Slams. Jacobs was best … Continue reading

It’s one of the happiest days of the faux-holiday calendar, a day when you can splurge on a couple of delicious frankfurters loaded up with all your favorite toppings. The hot dog, perhaps our most all-American sausage product, is both … Continue reading