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elrap

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  1. elrap

    Socca de Nice

    Thanks Mark, I noticed Bittman's recipe myself but haven't made it yet. This is very much an outdoor thing for me - I'll give it a shot in a few weeks, as there is still some snow on the ground where I live! It was a kick to see the topic revived (I got an email when you posted and happened to be at my computer). The rosemary, pepper and garlic quantities were interesting . . . I kind of liked my version with masa flour, more like a savory pancake and I've made it once or twice indoors to have with a salad that includes goat cheese. Seems to work well that way for some reason. Not sure if the instructions I posted earlier are the same as what I finally wound up with on my blog but if you want to pursue here is my own link: http://www.eatingaway.com/PrintBox.aspx?file=MasaSocca.htm Thanks again for continuing this now-timely topic. I'll post again in grilling season. --L. Rap
  2. Steady rains and warm weather over the past week mean the fat lady hasn't sung yet over the mycelia. I have reports of a couple pounds of blewits growing on a lawn around a spruce tree. That's something I'd love to see - only seen an occasional blewit in someone else's basket, and never eaten one. They're supposed to be excellent. Saturday should be a good day to hunt around. All sorts of things could pop up. I'm actually looking at a few confused forsythia blossoms as I write. Maybe keep a special eye out for oyster mushrooms growing on decaying tree trunks. --L. Rap
  3. OK, I'm beyond jealous about the porcini. Amazing. Tricholoma terreum, aka myomyces, never ate it, don't know if we've ever even seen it around here. I'll ask around the BMC. As you say, not a really solid edible (books showing it as unknown or be cautious, etc.), and a little easy to mix up. I wouldn't bother with them personally unless you really found them to be excellent. What we HAVE found lately around here are shaggy manes, a nice vacant lot mushroom, coprinus comatus. Bottoms up, L. Rap
  4. OK, I don't mind Velveetily. And I think the tapioca essay was by Calvin Trillin saying it was the most beautiful word in the English language. Here are two more I didn't have to make up. Salt peanuts, salt peanuts! Shoo-fly pie and apple pan dowdy La Vache Qui Ritalin, --L. Rap
  5. Sure looks like corn smut. Huitlacoche sounds a lot better! Good stuff, but yours looks a bit past it. Nice when it's silvery gray. It's not that uncommon on organic farms. Most commercial farmers use fungicide. Spores live in the soil. --L. Rap
  6. Tapioca. And I'm not the first, but I can't remember where I read that being some author's favorite word. If anyone recognizes the source, please let me know, it's starting to bother me. But this reminds me of a related theme on which I would like your opinion, at the grave risk of partially hijacking this very nice thread (perhaps eGullet meisters will let me know if I am being rude, and should start a new one?). Anyway: Louis Armstrong used to sign his letters, 'Red Beans and Ricely Yours.' I spent some fun minutes coming up with: Strawberry Jam and Cream Cheesely Yours And the absurd, though my favorite so far: Pickles and Poppy Seedily Yours Anyone else? Creme Fraichely, --L. Rap
  7. None whatsoever! Almost no boletes to be found, at least by me. It's a very strange late fall, almost like the earth gave up most of its mushrooms in July and August. I think it's great johnnyd scored his matsutakes. I don't know how much more hunting I'll have time to do, but it ain't over till it's over. Maybe this Sunday. . . --L. Rap
  8. Don't worry, ninetofive, plenty of mushrooms still to come. Boletes, including porcini, haven't even gotten started yet, and johnnyd's matsutakes are still a ways off. My bear's head tooth fungus tree sprouted again this year; that's my big news of the week - wild looking thing and a good crab substitute. This photo of a similar sprouting makes it look pretty pleasantly obscene. Think I'm going to try and make empanadas. L. Rap Hmm, don't seem to have permission from here to follow that link, but if you paste it into a browser it works. Whatever. If you're interested, google on hericium images.
  9. Just thought I'd keep updating this thread from time to time during mushroom season. . . The foray mentioned above was a lot of fun. We had around 20 or 25 people and got maybe 40 or 50 species of mushroom, maybe more. Not a lot of great edibles this go-round, but I noticed a couple of blewits, some wine caps, some mostly aged and woody hen of the woods, a big chicken mushroom with some edible parts. And a few handfuls of hedgehogs. Almost no boletes, and certainly no porcini. Hopefully, it's just too early - not cold enough yet. From the field, odd reports of a second coming of black trumpets here and there, and of hen of the woods. Cheers & happy hunting, -- L. Rap
  10. elrap

    Kitchen Cuts

    That's a great list, chef. I think the 30s and 40s were the golden age of songs about food, though Bubble Gub music in the 70s was a genre all to itself. Quick check of my hard drive at work turned up: Ufo Tofu Bela Fleck & the Flecktones Cheeseballs in Cowtown Bela Fleck & the Flecktones Frim Fram Sauce Diana Krall Catifsh Blues Eddie Cusic I'm Putting All my Eggs in One Basket Ella Fitzgerald Slow Like Honey Fiona Apple Big Rock Candy Mountain Harry McClintock Spoonful Howlin Wolf Fruit Tree Nick Drake Taste Phish Sweet Potato Pie Ray Charles & James Taylor Breadcrumb Trail Slint 40 Oz. to Freedom Sublime Steal the Crumbs Uncle Tupelo Ball and Biscuit White Stripes Candy Floss Wilco Pickles Yo-Yo Ma, Mark O'Connor & Edgar Meyer But the one I immediately thought of was one I don't have - Salt Peanuts, by Duke Ellington. Great song, perfect lyrics. --L. Rap
  11. elrap

    Kitchen Cuts

    Brilliant writing, sir, thank you. I am now deeply ashamed of the number of Diana Krall songs on the main iTunes playlist I use when people come over for dinner. But surely any girl who'll have sex with Elvis Costello can't be all bad. He seems to need it so much, and I want him to be happy. iTunes has changed everything. All my stuff is on a computer linked up to speakers in my kitchen/living room. I can now easily spend more time selecting music for a particular recipe than it takes to actually prepare the dish, but there are some real benefits. If it wasn't for cooking, I don't think I'd ever hear Patti Smith again. I also need a lot of Django Reinhardt/Stefane Grapelli, and I am totally with you on the Goldberg Variations, though I have the Murray Perahia version. And Yo Yo Ma on the cello suites, particularly if you're making a stew. I wouldn't be so afraid of the kitchen VCR as you; like millions of people (well, Americans, actually) I can easily see the TV from my position at the stove. I can't cook and watch dramas or basketball, but baseball is another story, unless the Red Sox are playing the Yankees. I just can't have a knife in my hand when I see Johnny Damon come to the plate wearing pinstripes, though I guess it would be safe to rice potatoes. Actually, my best and latest cooking background music isn't music at all - it's podcasts of Tim Gunn's comments after each episode of Project Runway - though you'd have to be a fellow addict to understand. Not as involved or amusing as New Boots and Panties, much less Mad Dogs and Englishmen, but it's easy to mince to. As Father Tim says, whatever you listen to, Make It Work. Thanks again for a great article, --L. Rap
  12. Hah! Wierd, I went to summer camp on Belgrade Lakes, haven't been back since. Beautiful area. Camp's not there anymore, I heard it's a vacation home development. Matsutake's a good excuse to get up there again! Actually do let me/us know if your friend says they're in season there and reasonably abundant. It's a ways up if I remember right, but a beautiful ride. --L. Rap
  13. I've only ever seen a native one once - it was picked in VT and brought into an ID meeting. There was an expert there who said in Japan, in that perfect condition (it was still completely veiled - the cap had not yet spread open), it would've been worth $100 or more. For what it's worth, in that young state it had a very phallic shape. I know in Japan matsutake fields in the woods (they grow in pines) are handed down as precious legacies. The one I saw and sniffed did not have the marked spicy smell that is supposed to be their big distinction. I've heard the US ones are not as good as the Japanese when it comes to that, but there's apparently a lot of regional variation. There are definitely people who pick them on the Cape, and who even claim to be able to find them by smell. Very cool! Maybe I could buy one someplace and then train a bloodhound or something. As a strange and controversial note, a recent book on mushrooms of the cape excluded matsutake, although it's thought the author was thoroughly aware they could be found there. In the northwest, I think, and maybe some other places there is a strange marker plant called candy cane I think - a red and white saprophytic plant maybe? - easy enough to look up but I'm being lazy - and wherever it grows in the summer, it's likely you'll find matsutakes in the fall. I don't know of anything like that in the northeast, unfortunately. Anyway, you've got me going johnnyd as usual - I'm going to have to try the cape this year! But right now my hopes are on hen of the woods (maitakes) and I just have a feeling it will be a good year for porcini and other boletes. --L. Rap
  14. Hi all; A couple people have PM'd me about going on BMC (Boston Mycological Club) forays. The deal is, the forays are completely open to the public and often publicized locally but the mailing list with the schedule and so on only goes to members who pay the measly $20 to this very deserving organization. It's only on paper, unfortunately, and is a pain to fax to everyone who asks about it, but - I'm very happy to generally invite eGulleteers to a foray I'm personally hosting in Ipswich, MA, on behalf of the BMC at Appleton Farms on Sept. 24, 1:30 PM. We've never been there before as a club and I haven't even been there myself in fungus season yet, but it looks like great terrain. We'll be gathering at the 'Grass Rides' area parking lot, which is a kind of spoke-shaped area where the original owners used to take carriage and sleigh rides. URL is right here. You want the Highland Street parking area. The foray process is: anyone's invited, age doesn't matter, you walk around on trails or beat around in the woods, bring a wicker basket (seriously, BRING A WICKER BASKET) and maybe an old knife, and a fungus guidebook if you have one. You spread out, pick mushrooms (instructions provided beforehand if you need them), follow more knowledgeable people if they welcome you or are moving too slowly to escape, gather back at the parking lot at 3 PM or so, I would say, to spread out all the findings and identify them with the help of various experts who will no doubt be there (members of the BMC's ID committee). It's low key in the extreme, rather fun and geeky. It is also THE way to learn how to pick wild mushrooms, which is huge and delicious fun but does take learning and persistence - and you really just have to like walking around in the woods looking at things. I hope to see some gulleteers there! Don't forget the wicker basket. --L. Rap
  15. Hi Jason; I've heard the same thing, and it has been discussed at a BMC meeting I happened to attend. The presenter, who was very knowledgeable, was all the same personally unaware of any problems with lobster mushrooms. I guess I know 10 or 15 people who have eaten them with no ill effects. They have a nice texture and look amazing but not much taste, really. Almost as crispy as a water chestnut when fried up. You hear these kinds of things a lot. For example, I've heard that chicken mushrooms (laetiporus sp.) can cause upset, particularly if gathered from a pine tree. I have to say it would be the better part of valor not to eat one that was growing on a hemlock, but I've never seen that. I have definitely eaten them from pines with no problem, and have fed them to maybe a couple dozen people (it was a big pizza party, and they were warned, but everyone wanted a piece anyway). Never ran into anyone in the BMC that mentioned a bad personal experience with them. It's actually easy to find people that regularly eat mushrooms some book or other says are flat-out poisonous (not deadly, but causing gastric upset or other symptoms, which is way way more common). I just eat a little bit of any mushroom species I try for the first time, to make sure I don't have any personal issues. I had a fairly mild but disturbing reaction once to honey mushrooms (armillarea mellea, very abundant right now!) but I'm going to try them again. They were thoroughly cooked, but my slavic friends say you need to boil them first. This sounds a lot like work, but I thought I'd give it a shot. They're very popular in East Europe, I want to see what's up. Anyway - lobsters are kind of a special case, because they are really one species colonizing another, resulting in a bright orange-red mushroom with wierd folds instead of gills, and often pretty large. You can google tons of them, and latin name is hypomyces lactiflora, which kind of indicates it's a colonization of a lactarius or milky mushroom, some of which can cause upset (in milkies you look for white fluid that doesn't turn yellow, but of course you do need to know exactly what you're eating). I think I remember someone saying they can also colonize russulas. I think I remember one book saying to only eat them if they are growing among other mushrooms that are edible. But - for what it's worth - never had a problem with them, and eat everyone I find, as they're rather colorful and fun. Maybe the colonization process destroys any harmful substances. Let's hope so, for my sake! --L. Rap
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