Oysters Flushing

What a drought !!!! Between July 15 and now (Jan), I found no appreciable mushrooms of any kind except the day we got honey mushrooms (Sept 22 post) and a few chicken of the woods that same week. Well, now we have the rain.

IMG_1169It’s been a couple of wet months here in the Valley. It got pretty cold and wet the beginning January, and then warmed up with high’s around 60 degrees. I was flooded with pictures from people wanting to know what mushrooms they had. Oysters – the nice big winter oysters that are great for grilling.

 

From Bob O, Oak Ridge                                         From Drew @ Plaid Apron, KnoxvilleIMG_1175  IMG_1176

 

 

 

 

Mushroom Stock

IMG_0729Yes, this is the Berkeley Polypore that was pictured in my last post. In Mushrooms of West Virginia, Roody rated it as “edible when young, later the flesh becomes bitter and fibrous”. So, what do you do with a 6 1/2 pounder? I gave mine to Rebecca and Daniel who operate the Tootsie Truck – best food truck in town. Always exploring and stretching. She called me yesterday and raved over the fabulous stock they created with it, and they will use it with a “noodle cup” Saturday at the Knoxville Market Square Farmers Market. I plan to get my sample cup. If you want to experience what this very large and often ignored (by foodies) mushroom can do, come on down Saturday. While you’re there, stop by my booth #139 and tell me what you think.

Rebecca also made a donation to the Free Medical Clinic of Oak Ridge in our name (the Celebrity Dance Contest) without me asking. Thank you Tootsie Truck!!

Also, thanks to my readers who have donated. You’ll get one of my “thank you” mushroom cards after the contest is over and I have all the addresses. I think we are leading with over $1,500 !!!! One more week.

CSA

Still waiting for the mushrooms. Found some old oysters, but that’s it. But fortunately there’s other food excitement.

I got my first CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) box Saturday from Spring Creek Farm located in Elk Valley. I consider Adam and Shelby friends. Ellen and I love their place. We went up there a few weeks ago, and they had a very cute new Belted Galloway calf as well as piglets and lambs. Our box had fresh arugula, sorrel, spinach, mixed lettuce, head lettuce, large bunch of dill, and mustard greens. I made a giant salad (arugula, prosciutto, roasted parsnip and cured egg yolks to go along with lamb shanks that I also got from Adam and then braised. Yummy.

Fresh local strawberries are in, and we’re loving them. Today, I made a two layer sponge cake with macerated strawberries and whipped cream. It was my first ever sponge cake, but it turned out fine. It was a recipe and techniques out of Cooks Illustrated (we subscribe). You can view a video on www.CooksIllustrated.com/june16.

Hopefully, black trumpets and chanterelles aren’t far off.