Jump to content


participating member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by elrap

  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
  16. I've heard there's a good wild mushroom purveyor at the Camden Farmer's Market, but more than that I do not know. God, I'd love to find matsutakes. Never heard of them in NE except on the Cape, and only in October. I apologize if I steered anyone wrong about Beth's being organic, as the poster said they are not, in general, an organic farm stand, though I seem to think they had a lot of organic stuff last time I was there. However, I'm not a careful label reader when it comes to that kind of stuff - if it looks and smells good, it's in the pot. --L. Rap
  17. Mushroom hunters & interested lurkers: It continues to be a wierd but generally very productive year for NE mushrooms, with some emails flying around the foraging community regarding fungi either showing up unseasonably early (grifola frondosa, aka hen of the woods in several instances, this is usually an October arrival) or oddly late (small fruitings of chanterelles here and there, along with various milkies and even some black trumpets, which are usually just dried stalks by August). In cetnral Vermont recently I tracked down quite a few chanterelles and hedgehogs, while back home here in Mass it seems like the boletes are getting underway, so hopefully porcini (boletus edulis) will start turning up. Tons of suillus pictus around; this is a pretty spotted tan and red mushroom found near pines. Sources say it should be dried and then used in soups; if you fry it up fresh it's rather flopsy, though I"m sure it has its fans. --L. Rap
  18. Thanks Country, I don't think I've been there since your friends bought the place, it sounds great. I'll definitely stop by next time I'm in the area. They always had great kraut. I make my own now but I used to get it from them mail order when I lived in Los Angeles. --L. Rap ←
  19. I can't say enough about Beth's farm stand near Waldoboro. Believe me when I say this is locally famous, particularly for organic produce. I'm not sure exactly what town they're in but it's a few miles off of route 1, on the west side. Heading north, I believe you'll see signs (handmade or otherwise) either at the intersection by Moody's Diner or soon thereafter. Heading south, I think it's just a homemade sign that points you there through pretty back roads. Watch for it! I was there two weeks ago and came back with strawberries, blueberries, onions, potatoes, all kinds of other stuff. They take credit cards, thank goodness. --L. Rap
  20. Just thought I'd update my own thread here with the news that an organized walk this past weekend at Maudslay in my extreme NE corner of Massachusetts turned up some very nice chicken mushrooms (aka sulfur shelf, Laetiporus Sulfureus, as well as the salmon-colored Laetiporus Cincinnatus for those who are interested), quite a few milkies (Laccaria Hygrophoroides and Lactarius Volemus, I think) and a scant handfull of very late chanterelles. Plus some past-it puffballs. Next up - boletes (porcini)? --L. Rap
  21. Already some good suggestions, particularly Round Pond - don't think I've been there. I've eaten at a lot of end-of-the-road lobster pounds in the area and never been disappointed but I'll look for that one, and the other places as well. I probably should've added Cod End in Tenant's Harbor as a place that is a cut or two above the typical Lobster Pound, though I don't like eating there so much when the weather's not good. When it's nice outside it's one of the prettiest settings around, particularly at sunset. If you go and happen to see the owner, a lobsterwoman named (Julia? sorry - lost it, but maybe something like that), know that in years past she was a model for Andrew Wyeth. I am so embarassed now the number of times I've been to Rockland and not eaten at Primo's. But I'm usually passing through to go to the Farnsworth and Wyeth museums, and eat lunch at either Waterworks (where I once saw Julia Child dining with her entire extended family) or just grab some soup and bread at the Atlantic Cafe. Thanks & I hope we get some more lesser-known lights along the coastal path. L. Rap
  22. I just wanted to put in a quick word (in time for what little is left of the season) about some places sampled during a recent trip to Monhegan Island. No time to go into long descriptions but if readers want more info I'll be glad to supply some details as/if the thread grows. Monhegan is a roadless, intensely informal place where you walk around all day on trails along the highest cliffs on the Atlantic coast. The one somewhat fancy place, Island Inn, is far and away the best hotel but the best food on the island for my humble purposes are the sandwiches, pizza, and occasional dinner dishes at the Novelty, and the fish and chips at Hot Fat, a truly unbelievable place that looks like a converted carnival funnel cake stand that just dropped from the sky (like Dorothy's house) onto a wide place in a dirt road. Freshest fish on the island. Also, no place to sit except for a big black rock. Take your stuff up to the lighthouse and watch the sun set. You generally get to Monhegan via the ferry from Port Clyde, in which case you would be very wise to eat at the wonderful Dip Net restaurant right next to the ferry wharf. They will take reservations for an indoor table at night. Hugely fun and relaxed, with a beautiful light touch on the local ingredients. Stay at the Craignair nearby if you have an extra night and don't want to spend a lot of money. Walk or kayak around Clark Island, swim in the quarry if it's hot. As you wind your way back home (assuming that's south), stop at Beth's farm stand, which I think might be in Waldoboro. Look for and follow the signs pointing West from Route 1. Nothing I've seen is comparable to Beth's. Sauerkraut fans might want to take an extra side trip to Morse's Sauerkraut in that area but I've found it hard to catch these guys when they're open, so call ahead. Final stop for me is at the Fisherman's Catch seafood store on Main Street in downtown Damariscotta, where you can get local oysters in sizes ranging from M to XXX, a nice hot-moked salmon on a stick, and local cold-smoked salmon that is outstanding. OK, honorable mention to the Scarlet Begonia sandwich shop in Brunswick, next to the Bowdoin campus, for a healthy, quick and well-made soup-and-sandwich lunch that is also pretty close to, but not right on, tiresome old route 1. I'd appreciate any similar suggestions that are just off the main road. I like Moody's and Red's Eats as much as the next guy (OK, maybe actually a little less than the next guy judging from the lines) but it's a great big world out there. . . ! Regards, L. Rap
  23. I do indeed freeze chanterelles, that's the easiest way to rid of a large bunch of them. You have to at least par-saute them first in a little vegetable oil. I use my biggest fry pan, or a paella pan. They're terrific in stews in winter. More effort, but also more fun is to cut them in half and string them up using needle and thread. They dry very well in a breezy window. If they get absolutely rock hard you can then put them in a plastic bag indefinitely but if they have the least bit of moisture left they'll mold if kept airtight. It's nicer anyway just to have them in a chain somewhere in the kitchen, so you can pop a few off as needed, reconstitute them in water or sherry, and put them in whatever. I have a photo of a wonderfully full basket of chanterelles plus a recipe on my blog at eatingaway.com, if you're interested. Also, Sunday August 27 at 10:30 AM I'm the official sponsor of a walk open to the public at Maudslay State Park in Newburyport. It's a beautiful park, and Newburyport's fun as well if you want to make a day of it. We'll meet at the parking lot (there's only one), scatter, and reform to identify what we find. I'd be very happy to greet egulleteers there. Lately, chanterelles are starting to tail off but I've collected sulphur shelf (actually a similar one that is not yellow underneath and which I think is a little tastier, laetiporus cincinnatus, with a reddish rim). Naturally, Mother Nature being what she is, as soon as I wrote about the profusion of mushrooms the rains dried up and so have the fungi, but worst case scenario you can go to the beach! --L. Rap
  24. I looked up some recipes and do believe you're right. Thanks for telling about those, sounds rather interesting. Maybe I'll try and make one with dijon instead of Gulden's. Unlike the restaurant's version, the recipes I saw used no tomato products, just a little sugar for sweetness. Still and all - a very good and fun place, though sauce not the high point. --L. Rap
  25. Funny you should ask - the sauce was not the high point for me. They had two kinds, red and 'yellow.' The red was a bit above average, I'd guess a commercial sauce with a little doctoring. It had a bit more vinegar and spice than most of the bottled brands I know. The yellow one was new to me - seemed like the red sauce with a lot of plain yellow mustard mixed in. Not something I personally liked, but seemed to be a regional thing that went with their style. They had an array of commercial hot sauces as well, none of which I used this time around. --L. Rap
  • Create New...