Creamed Lion’s Mane Mushroom on Conchiglie

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November is here. We’ve had a rough start to the month as the Chestnut Cottage on B Street lost our Box Elder Tree. We are renting, so we didn’t have much say in the matter, but our landlord (being amazing) did all they could to save the tree and in their defense, one of its giant trunks came crashing into the neighbors yard during a windstorm a few months ago. Six arborists later, the conclusion was that this lovely tree had to come down for the safety of all. To be honest I was a mess, sobbing like a small child who has lost their first pet goldfish. Of course I went out and purchased a nice bottle of pink champagne to toast the tree. My husband (also being ever amazing) left the lights wrapped around it for that final night, waking up at 4 am, donning a headlamp to take them off in the foggy-fall Oregon morning before they came to take her down.

As I have been mourning the tree, I realize how thankful I am for the gifts it gave us; the shade it provided, the cocoon of safety her spreading branches gave our little house, her branches giving support for the patio lights that strung across our yard. As I was giving thanks to the tree for its gifts, I started noticing the other gifts that had come my way. My parents, as badass and rad as they come, came up for our annual Halloween Soirée. My mom handed me a bunch of fresh sage as beautiful and fragrant as any floral bouquet. My father gave me a bottle of perhaps the best Sauvignon Blanc I have ever had in my possession. My sweet in-laws had gifted us some stellar onions, fresh from the black earth of Idaho. Then there are the neighbors, this band of supreme human beings, who constantly make our lives ever so much better. Living in Oregon, I have noticed there are two types of friends, there are friends, and then there are friends who give you mushrooms; these neighbors are the latter.   Yesterday they stopped by with a box full of magic, a lion’s mane mushroom so full and beautiful it looked like a creature from the sea. As I sat on the porch gazing sadly at the stump left from our beloved tree, a recipe came to me; celebrating the gifts that I had been given and turning my attitude of loss to one of thankfulness, seemingly perfect for the season.

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I created this recipe full of gifts, Creamed Lion’s Mane Mushroom on Conchiglie. As these mushrooms are rare, you can substitute with your favorite fungi, be it chanterelles, portabellas, or even the humble button mushroom. Whenever making pasta, choose your noodle based on sauce; Conchiglie is perfect for this thick mushroom sauce as the little shells scoop up the puree and hold it tight delivering sheer joy to your lips.

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You will need

1-pound mushrooms – rough chopped

4-tablespoons butter

1 yellow onion – diced

4 cloves garlic – minced

1-cup white wine – only cook with wine you would drink so make it good

1-cup cream, plus more for thinning

16-ounces of your favorite pasta – I used Conchiglie

¼-cup chopped sage

Salt and pepper to taste

How To:

Melt butter in a large sauté pan over medium high heat

Add onions and cook until light brown

Toss in garlic and sage and stir until fragrant – about one minute

Add more butter to the mushrooms if needed, turning down the heat to medium

Allow the mushrooms to brown for 2 minutes and flip

Begin to boil water for your pasta

Add the wine to the sauté pan and bring to a boil until the wine is absorbed into the mushrooms

Turn down the heat to medium, adding the cream

Add pasta to boiling salted water

Once the cream has begun to thicken, remove ½ of the mixture to your blender

Blend and add back to the remaining half of your sauce

Strain your pasta and toss with Parmesan and fresh sage and serve

I wish that I could give you something….

but I have nothing left.

I am just an old stump.

I am sorry….”

“I don’t need very much now,” said the boy.

“just a quiet place to sit and rest.

I am very tired.”

“Well,” said the tree, straightening

herself up as much as she could,

“well, an old stump is good for sitting and resting

Come, Boy, sit down. Sit down and rest.”

And the boy did.

And the tree was happy”

– Shel Silverstien

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In gratitude and thanks for this giving tree,

Marcella Rose

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Autumn Cocktail Party

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The days are getting cooler.  The leaves are turning and starting to fall. The Harvest is here and it calls out to me.    It calls me out, it calls me out of my silly working life, it calls me out of my mundane tasks and it calls again and again.  It calls me out…outside, “stop being silly”, it says in its cadence, “close that computer and come play in the fallen leaves, in the pumpkin patches, in the cool autumn evenings.”

The trees let the sun’s light dance in their leaves.  Spinning, twirling, whirling around before the tree slowly lets them go, dropping to the ground.  They blaze in so many shades of red, yellow, orange you can hardly count them all.

The fruit is bursting with ripeness, the buds and blooms of spring and summer seem a distant memory, replaced by heavy, ripe, plump fruit emerging, and the garden grows, it grows and grows. Tomatoes start to shine bright in banners of red and yellow hues, the peaches drop from their stems, heavy-swollen with juicy goodness.

The earth is in full fall swing and calls us out to a cocktail party.  I shouldn’t say no to a mother, especially this mother, Earth.  So I plan a little soirée.  A few friends to help me celebrate the sun and the fading of summer and the bounty it has brought to us.  To praise the mother’s glory we make things fresh and bright, rich with her bounty.



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The New Tomato Martini

Place two to three small tomatoes in a shaker

Add ice

A mist or splash of Vermouth

Fill with Gin or Vodka

Shake

Plop a tomato into a Martini glass rimmed with salt and pepper

Pour and find your new favorite savory cocktail

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Peach Whiskey Smash

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Place one to two peaches, sliced, into a pitcher

Add a handful of mint

Macerate with the handle of a wooden spoon

Fill with ice

Add 2 Parts Whiskey to 4 Parts Soda water filling pitcher – melted further dilutes

Stir

Serve with peach slices for garnish

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Grown-up Lemonade

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Mix the juice of 10 lemons and 10 Tablespoons sugar in a pitcher until dissolved

Fill with ice

Add 1 cup St. Germaine

½ bottle of champagne

Fill with cold water to the top

Garnish with see-though-slices of lemons

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Sip, breath, enjoy for autmn is here.

Marcella Rose

Pumpkin Lanterns

Light the way into fall with this DYI pumpkin project

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Halloween is my favorite holiday, the lights, the leaves, the lore!!!   When you think about the holiday one of the first images that enters the your mind has got to be the pumpkin.  It’s history and mythology date so far back that the stories have taken on a life of their own and you can’t tell truth from a tale told with too much whiskey on the breath.  Since the original folk tale comes from Ireland we can be certain it is at least a wee bit o’ the latter.  You cannot begrudge this humble little squash.  It transforms every year into anything your imagination can muster.   This yellow vegetable will metamorphose into anything and everything; from a witch, to a scarecrow, a monster, or a haunted mansion, Darth Vader, a pie or possibly humble Jack himself.  What is it about the glowing pumpkin that seems to beckon autumn to come just a little faster?  Whatever magic this modest orange globe has, I want to capture it this year and use it to help myself and my neighbors ease into fall a little more smoothly. Beckoning thoughts of spiced cider and crunching leaves, we enter the time of year where you pull your sweater a bit closer and take a moment to marvel at the moon.   So join me on the way to fall with a little craft that is so very simple but so very full of autumnal whimsy….

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Visit My Crafty Spot for the full blog and how to DYI this craft for yourself!

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