Posts Tagged ‘Cream’

Dear Reader,

It’s Morel season.

Until very recently, I had had no morels in my life. Sorry, but I was dying to say that.

A few weeks ago, I bought a small packet of morels from the local, posh deli. I sauteed them in olive oil and butter with a few, sliced button mushrooms, added a bit of lemon juice, and thought they were absolutely awful.  Tough, chewy, and woody, no taste.

Of course, I was convinced that either I had prepared them incorrectly, or, they were stale, old morels.  I couldn’t tell.

I have a very dear friend who lives far, far away.  She mentioned that she was going on a morel hunt/party with friends.  So, my interest was renewed. I begged her to please tell me all that there was to know about morels.  What is the secret of their allure?

Fresh Morels

Fresh Morels

Then, a day or two later, I saw fresh morels for sale, loose, in a tiny basket at the same, posh deli, I decided to try them again.  After all, even though they were $49.99 per pound, five morels only cost $3.50 as they are hollow. I had seen a Mark Bittman’s recent recipe video about morels and asparagus, and was inspired to try again.

Mr Bittman uses reconstituted dried morels, but as I have stumbled upon fresh ones, that is what I am using. As I only had a few, I supplemented them with fresh baby bella mushrooms.

Baby Bella Mushrooms

Baby Bella Mushrooms

Start with a good pat of butter, then I sauteed the mushrooms with some finely chopped shallots, until most of the moisture has been released and then reabsorbed.

Add a bit of water and dry white wine,  about half and half.  (Mr. Bittman uses the liquid from the dried morels). Once very hot, add the asparagus.  Steam for about two minutes, or until tender. Asparagus cooks in the blink of an eye, so, don’t blink.

Fresh Asparagus

Fresh Asparagus

Add a small amount of cream.  This can be any thickness you like, I used a small amount of heavy cream.

Then add a few, fresh Tarragon leaves.  Not too many, as Tarragon is a strongly flavoured herb.

This dish requires a fair amount of salt and pepper.

Tasting it, without the thrill of the hunt, or the pleasure of a party, just alone, in my kitchen, I was very satisfied.

I felt that I was beginning to understood the mystery of the morel.

It was a start.

A tasty start.

M x


Read Full Post »

The English revere strawberry season.  They cover their berries with fine, caster sugar, then eat them with lashing of cream. Delicious. Eton Mess is a spectacular concoction of fresh strawberries, pieces of meringue, and cream. Also, delicious. 

It is strawberry season here in the desert. The girls and I love them. Today I bought a kilo of berries for $2.44.  Yes, they had been reduced in price, but, they are still very good.  Too good to pass up.


Strawberry puree pops

Strawberry Puree Ice Pops



When I have a lot of strawberries to use up, and the children have had enough of eating them whole, or on cereal, or with ice cream, I pop them into the food processor for Strawberry Puree Ice Pops.  If the puree is a bit sour, I will add a touch of sugar, but, often even that isn’t necessary.  Just blend, taste, spoon into ice pop forms. The children love them.  

My mother’s father also loved strawberries. He bought them whenever he could.  Once, he came to our house on Long Island, for supper.  He arrived with an enormous box of fresh strawberries for dessert.  My mother put them into the refrigerator. 

Well, I knew that they were there.  I opened the refrigerator door.  They looked so pretty, and the smell was overwhelming. Dear Reader, I couldn’t help myself.  I had to have one. Just one.

But, of course, by suppertime, half of the box was gone, I had a tummy ache, and my family was cross. When they asked me about the missing strawberries, I apparently had nothing to say, other than it might have been the strawberry faery.  I was six years old. 

That was my nickname for many years after.  

There are worse crosses to bear. 



P.S.  These strawberry lollies lasted less than 24 hours.  Making more as we speak.  Kids can’t get enough.

Read Full Post »