New Cook Book – The Broad Fork

The Broad Fork
While mushrooms are resting, I spend the winter working on cooking – techniques and new ingredients. Fortunately, Derek gave me a wonderful new (copyright 2015) book to help me along. Because many of my readers share my excitement in experimenting with local fresh (both wild and cultivated) foods, I’m sharing this book with you. I can’t describe it any better than the Amazon description. Here it is below in its entirety. Click here to go to the Amazon site. I’ll be buying CSA shares this year since I’ll be at the Knoxville Market Square Market every Saturday anyway. The last part of this post lists some of the recipes I’ve tried so far. He also uses a number of mushrooms including morels, chanterelles, and chicken of the woods.Good Eats Friends !!

From James Beard Award winner Hugh Acheson comes a seasonal cookbook of 200 recipes designed to make the most of your farmers’ market bounty, your CSA box, or your grocery produce aisle.
In The Broad Fork, Hugh narrates the four seasons of produce, inspired by the most-asked question at the market: “What the hell do I do with kohlrabi?” And so here are 50 ingredients–from kohlrabi to carrots, beets to Brussels sprouts–demystified or reintroduced to us through 200 recipes: three quick hits to get us excited and one more elaborate dish. For apples in the fall there’s apple butter; snapper ceviche with apple and lime; and pork tenderloin and roasted apple. In the summer, Hugh explores uses for berries, offering recipes for blackberry vinegar, pickled blueberries, and raspberry cobbler with drop biscuits. Beautifully written, this book brings fresh produce to the center of your plate. It’s what both your doctor and your grocery bill have been telling you to do, and Hugh gives us the knowledge and the inspiration to wrap ourselves around produce in new ways.

Recipes I’ve tried (updated 2/9/16)- Yummy !!

Celery Root Salad w/Buttermilk Dressing
Farro w/Beets, Dates & Shaved Beet Salad
Fried Black-Eyed Peas
Kale Salad w/Crisp Shallots and Caper Dressing
Kimchi Creamed Collard Greens
Red Russian Kale Salad w/Roasted Sweet Potato and Apple
Roasted Beet Soup w/Hard-Boiled Egg and Celery Cream
Winter Squash Soup w/Pear, Coconut Milk and Red Curry

Simple Bok Choy with Benne and Soy Butter
Gnocchi with Braised Lamb, Butternut Squash and Tomato Confit
Apple and Cabbage Slaw
Pan-Roasted Cod, Shitakes, Butternut Squash and Soy Broth
Celery Root Puree
Roasted Lamb Loin w/Bok Choy, curried tomatoes & avocado

Roasted Pork Tenderloin w/Bok Choy, Curried Tomatoes & Avocado
Roasted Shiitake Salad w/Orange, Celery and Ponzu
Egg in a Hole, Crisped Brussels Sprout Leaves, and Shaved Gruyere
Sautéed Carrots w/Pine Nuts, Malt Vinegar and Sorghum
Foil-Roasted Sunchokes – Jerusalem Artichokes



Bioluminescence #2

After my previous post on Panellus stipticus, a bioluminescent fungus, I went out near my house and collected from 4 or 5 different locations. I took them home and set them BioLum2up like I had previous collections. Some glowed (picture to left, notice the linear effect from the top of the limb) and some did not. The second picture is the same branch in daylight. I had water sprayed all specimens and kept them together until “the viewing”. Now I’m curious about why the glowing phenomenon was selective. They were all hydrated, and (based on form and condition) they all seemed to be the same age.

Pan2The collections on old branches glowed, but the ones I had chiseled off their substrate did not (Picture #3, we viewed the gill surface also). At first I thought it may be because, for some reason, the phenomenon of glowing required being connected to the substrate and mycelial mass, assuming it is in the wood as well as the bark. Then I got a call from Don at Silver Fir Media. I had mailed him the same log I used to capture my first bioluminescence, so I knew it had worked before, but he did not get any glowing. When Don got the sample, it Pan1had been in a dark box for three days. So, I thought maybe they need light to “recharge”, because the bioluminescence is due to changes in the energy levels of electrons. To test this, I put all my currect collections, hydrated, into the sun for a day. The result was I still got the identical selective pattern of which collections glowed.

So, to date, I am mystified why or why not bioluminesence. The same old basic science questions: (1) Why here, not there? (2) Why now, not then? We shall keep on collecting and observing.

Bioluminescence – Big South Fork

charit 1

October 14, 10:00 a.m., found me standing at the trailhead to Charit Creek Lodge in the Big South Fork National Recreation Area. My mission was to locate and/or collect bioluminescent fungi for Silver Media to use in a documentary on the BSFNRA they were producing for the National Park Service.

Don O’Brien, their President and Director, had been put in contact with me last year by Matt Peterson, a former student interested in mushrooms and working at Charit Creek Lodge. I was to meet the crew that evening at the lodge and take them out for a nighttime filming.

charit bridge

There was a new moon and clear skies that night, and I thought I might find either some Honey Mushrooms, Jack O’Lanterns or Panellus stipticus for them to use. As it turns out I found some Panellus almost immediately on the hike into the gorge as well as several other locations near the lodge. Even with trail hiking and bushwhacking over 5 miles that day and the next, I never came across Jacks or Honeys,but the Panellus was sufficient.

Panellus stipticusThe picture at the left is of a collection made at the NAMA Foray two weeks before.It was quite educational observing the crew set up the photo shoot after dark, in situ, about 100 yards from the lodge. In case you are interested they used an ISO 3200 with a 24 sec exposure.



EMbiolumThe picture to the left is from the web site of Everything Mushrooms in Knoxville (click on picture to go there) which sells Panellus sawdust spawn to those who wishing to try growing their own crop of bioluminescent fungi. I will update this post with the Silver Fir Media images when they become available. What is really cool about theirs is they are in video rather than just still shots. Using a remote/programmable camera mounted on a rail track, a series of over 100 images were taken as the camera tracked. These images are then sequenced to animate a scanning image (10 sec) of the fungus colony. Some soft LED lighting was set up in the surrounding woods so that the substrate (wooden branch they were growing on) can be subtlety distinguished. It’s quite captivating.

This was an especially enjoyable adventure for me because Silver Fir Media also produced the NPS documentary on the Obed Wild and Scenic River which featured my friend Billy Bob Scarborough. My wife and I were long time open boat tandem paddlers, and Billy Bob guided our first descents on the Obed system. He also led a few  memorable trips down the Big South Fork gorge. So, the documentary brings back a lot of good memories and some not so pleasurable, but educational, like flipping at the entrance to Rocking Chair rapid on Daddy’s Creek in high water – a long and dangerous swim. We appreciate his rescue skills.