Thursday, March 31, 2016

Fungus Fest

Tonight my younger son prepared a meal containing a wealth of mushrooms: chanterelles, shitakes, portobellos, baby brown mushrooms, and morels.

As a public service, here are the recipe outlines that my son wrote on post-it notes as he cooked.

Baked Stuffed Mushrooms
  • Sautee minced chanterelle and shitake mushrooms, shallots, garlic, and saffron in butter until lightly browned.
  • Combine with squash puree and stuff into medium portobello mushroom caps.
  • Bake 14 minutes, then top with grated parmesan, salt, and black pepper
  • Bake 2-3 more minutes until lightly browned.

 Capellini Pasta with Morels and Cauliflower in Tart Butter
  • Pasta cooks for 3 minutes
  • Dice cauliflower and steam for 18 minutes
  • Pan fry minced morels (6) until lightly browned
  • Heat butter, minced garlic, and white wine vinegar with a splash of heavy whipping cream
  • Combine sauce ingredients
  • Toast 2/3 tsp garlic
  • Slice mozzarella log into 3/16'' by 5/8" slices and soak in warm cream with toasted garlic
  • Stir cheese into the sauce (it is okay if lumpy)
  • Spoon sauce over pasta; add lemon juice and ribbons of fresh basil

Elicoidali (i.e., helical tube) Pasta with Marinated Mushrooms and Shallots in Mozzarella Bolognese Sauce with Fresh Basil and Garlic
  • Pasta cooks in 10 minutes
  • Marinate halved baby brown mushrooms  for 15 minutes with wine vinegar, soy sauce and dried herbs (oregano, thyme, and basil) and minced garlic.
  • Sautee mushrooms.
  • Heat marinara sauce to boiling.  Add minced shallots and continue to heat.
  • Drain pasta.  Pour sauce over pasta and stir.  
  • Garnish with ribbons of fresh basil, sauteed mushrooms, and grated parmesan

Steamed Greens
  • Steam turnip greens and spinach
  • Add lemon juice and salt and pepper at the end to taste 

The meal was supplemented with slices of sourdough bread for dipping in olive oil and basalmic vinegar.  Blackberry Izze drinks took the place of the fine Italian wine that would normally be served with such a grand meal.

Sunday, March 27, 2016


Today was a fine Easter Sunday.

After an excellent 8:00 a.m. church service (in place of the sunrise service that I failed to wake up for), I had a pleasant Le Peep brunch with my younger son.  He has returned to live with me temporarily until he finds new lodging arrangements.

Last week he rented a basement bedroom in a house across town, but that situation quickly came to resemble the opening chapter of a Victorian horror story -- lights turned on inexplicably when nobody but my son was presumably present in the house and a number of other disturbing indications.  Call this first chapter "Dangers and Mysteries."  Fortunately, my son bailed out after four days and avoided the chapters "Midnight Attack" and "The Torture Chamber."

This afternoon I took a leisurely walk by the Cherry Creek Reservoir and saw some leisurely geese.

The geese became much less leisurely a minute later when a man came along with his German Shepherd dog.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Younger Son Moves Out

My younger son moved out of the house today.  Off to seek his fortune in the music industry.

He is renting a basement bedroom in south Denver.  It's a modest start to what I predict will be an interesting career.


Saturday, March 12, 2016

First hike of 2016

Today's weather was perfect for the first hike of the season.  I chose the relatively flat terrain of Matthews-Winters Park.

I needed to escape to Nature to get calm.  I had wonderful news this week -- #1 dodging a company layoff and #2 getting a contract signed on the sale of my townhouse -- but even wonderful news can get you frazzled.