Today I got an email from my friend Jenny, who lives in another state. She's someone I've known for about eight years and is talented in so many things. One of her areas of expertise, in addition to being able to knit anything she dreams up, is her knowledge of Chinese cooking and healing. She gave me a recipe for cleansing tea that involves "wood ear" (Auricularia auricula) a type of fungus that grows on trees, packaged, of course, in China.
I made the tea, which has to be simmered for eight hours before adding other ingredients. But I ran out before the completing the required number of days, and now cannot find the product.
Send me your address, she wrote. Now she's sending me a bag of wood ear she bought at an Asian store near her house.
So how do I define a true friend? Someone who will send you fungus when your own supply has run out.