Thursday, May 26, 2011

Wild Bounty

As I was illuding to in my last post, we are avid mushroom hunters! If my mom, grandma or anyone else who leans toward the cautious side is reading, don't worry. We aren't roaming the woods, munching on bright red, polka-dotted mushrooms. We are stalking the wild and illusive morel. Countless hours over the last few weeks have been spent with our eyes to the ground, looking next to and under everything, leaving no leaf unturned . We have been relatively successful in our hunts and have brought home a nice sized wild bounty; at least several dozen morels and even some more ramps.

This past week we were even able to harvest a few ramps and chives from our own garden. I couldn't help but make dinner with all these delicious ingredients. I cut the morels into bite size pieces (well, most of them), minced the chives, minced the whites of the ramps and chiffonade the greens. I then sauteed the raw ingredients in a few tablespoons of butter for 4 minutes. Next, I tossed in the pasta and added some cream, as well as a few spices, salt and pepper. I let it all cook together for two minutes, threw in a half cup of grated Parmesan cheese, tossed it one more time and viola! Dinner was ready. I produced a rich, decadent fettuccine a la morel that was almost as gratifying to eat as it was fun to find. (And even better, a meatless meal for the first time in days!)

Oh, and before I foreget, I need to share our new friend with you. He is a three-legged earthenware pig from Pomaire, Chile. This little guy holds toothpicks, but his other friends hold salt and pepper or even entire casseroles. The larger pigs are baking dishes and are oven and even gas-stove safe. I might be buying one someday soon!