I have been cooking up a storm! One could say I am on FIRE!!
But then again, I haven’t been blogging anything because I’ve been too busy cooking. I have taken photos, tho. So, where do I begin?
Our neighbor is a hunter, a fisher and a most self-suficant man. I have no problem with these kinds of people- he lives off the land, he respects the land, and he doesn’t hunt because of sport or social. He is a serious hunter/gatherer and I can respect his respect for the earth. Tho he does burn plastic in his burning pile. I’ll work on that…
Last year he brought us puffball mushroom. He has been collecting these wild mushrooms since he was a kid, so he knows what he’s doing. This year, he brought us two. The size of my head!!
These two mushrooms were literally the size of my head, ok, maybe a little larger. We pealed them, which was fairly easy. They peeled back to reveal a very white flesh. (I joked to Craig that we could make lampshades out of the peels, but he ignored me…) Then we chopped them up to about inch squared sized cubes and sautéed them in some olive oil.
And because it was 9 p.m. when I got home and Craig revealed the surprising bounty, we had three different pans going to be able to cook down all of the mushroom “flesh.”
Why, you may ask, did I cook it all up that night? Puffball mushrooms don’t last long. Their window of freshness is short and once picked, you need to use them up as soon as possible. Our neighbor informed Craig that they were at the end of their freshness so we processed them right away. Online, I read that once cooked, they can be frozen, which is good because there’s no way wed eat THAT much mushrooms, that quickly. I froze about 10 cups of cooked mushrooms. I saved some of the fresh cooked for tasting at the library, and a few did! Most of them liked it! You have to understand, these mushrooms do not look, feel or taste like regular button mushrooms. They are mushier, wilder, and a bit weird. I like them. It reminds me of tofu, a mushier tofu… Next, I used used another 2 or 3 cups of cooked mushrooms and puréed them into a cream. I also added some sautéed onions, soy milk and herbs and garlic. Made it nice and creamy, but to give some texture I added some regular button mushrooms, sautéed, and some vegan ravioli. To get it a little creamier, I made some vegan roux-olive oil, flour and soy milk. I added it in and wow, it turned out awesome! Oregano, garlic, salt and black pepper, some rosemary and whatever else was lying around. I love seasonings!
No, I didn’t take a photo of the finished product. I should have, but didn’t. You’re going to have to trust me on this!!