Monthly Archives: March 2015

Marinated Mushrooms

Mushrooms have been marked down and featured right at the front of the store lately, and I don’t I just love a bargain…..

And I love Mushrooms..

fungi,mushroom, white Champignons_Agaricus

con fungi,

Mushroom sauce...great on pasta

Mushroom sauce…great on pasta – I don’t think I’ve shared this yet…coming attraction – or warning!

musi di fungi  – that is more or less ‘mushroom mouth’  – Lois Henrickson pretty much rocks this

Lois Henrickson HBO Big Love

Lois Henrickson HBO Big Love

And I know in the world there are mushroom people and Not mushroom people

OK, I didn’t learn that in the world, I learned it at home. My family is divided between mushroom people and Not mushroom people – just like the olives divide the room to the olives and the pits….

Someone had asked me for a pickled mushroom recipe recently, but I couldn’t find it because it was hiding in plain sight.

Why did I ever think writing things down and then trimming the paper exactly around it was any sort of plan?

Was there a great paper shortage in the ’80’s that has somehow escaped memory?

The paper it was on

  1. Had been trimmed exactly around all the writing, back and front
  2. Was 2 inches by 4 inches
  3. Had another recipe written on the back (labeled ‘SW/SU Meatballs‘, it’s a variation of the famous jar of grape jelly/bottle of chili/cocktail sauce that also includes a can of cranberry jelly…..and calls for 3 pounds of meat, so this is a a party dish)
  4. Had the name ‘Marinated Mushrooms’  on the bottom and not on the top, making it hard to find.
  5. AND  – The directions were so  – where is the place that’s before vague that is even further from clear? That is the place where this recipe is standing.  So I had to check out other marinated mushrooms/pickled mushrooms.It actually made more sense after that; it still had some ‘splaining to do.

And what else did I find in my studies?

There are more Nonna Marinated mushrooms stories out there then you could shake a stick at.

And they vary – from pouring a vinaigrette over the mushrooms, to cooking the mushrooms in lots of vinegar or wine . This recipe has you cook the mushrooms first and then pickle them. All good.

Marinated Mushrooms

2 # mushrooms – we always used the little button ‘shrooms from the grocery story , because back in the day there wasn’t a variety option – anything sturdy. And no collecting your own unless you really know from mushrooms!

1 cup water

1/2 cup vinegar

2 tsp lemon juice

dash of pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 bay leaf

3 TBL oil

  1. Wash and trim  mushrooms.
  2. Put them in a pan, cover with water. Bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes.
  3. Drain and cool. Keep them in a colander so they can keep draining.
  4. Boil together 1 cup water, the vinegar, lemon juice,pepper and salt and the bay leaf.
  5. Add the cooked mushrooms to the hot mixture.
  6. When it cools, strain it and add the oil.
  7. They will be ready after 24 hours.
  8. Will keep for 2 weeks in a covered jar…so they say, they never last that long. Marinated Mushrooms are A wholly approved and suitable use for a Mason Jar.

mason jarsThis recipe is just a written down version of how I remember doing this. I don’t even remember who told me how . It was always good to have some for the holidays. Or parties. Or any other time that called for nibbles or antipasto. Or because mushrooms were on sale. And because it’s Spring – at 33 degrees and it snowed yesterday.

We used to reuse just any old jar that had a lid...we all survived, but I buy Mason jars and new lids for them now, for the the things that aren't just leftovers,,

We used to reuse just any old jar that had a lid…we all survived, but I buy Mason jars and new lids for them now, for the the things that aren’t just leftovers.

Speaking of Mushroom People..

The full movie is on YouTube


Filed under Italian, Recipe, The 1980's

Erin Go Bragh

st patrick

St. Patrick


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Filed under Irish

Pi Days, Fry Days

First, some follow up from Pi Days, part I…


Not the remaining Beatle..

Guess who has a new album coming out at the end of this month? Postcards from Paradise

Guess who has a new album coming out at the end of this month? Postcards from Paradise available 31 March

but Eringo roots, eringo also known as Sea Holly

Sea Holly - eringo - growing on the dunes

Sea Holly – eringo – growing on the dunes

Ivan Day at Food History  has sooo much more on eringos – he’s cooked it…..

Perhaps you remember this from high school English class.


Sir John! art thou there, my deer? my male deer?


My doe with the black scut! Let the sky rain
potatoes; let it thunder to the tune of Green
Sleeves, hail kissing-comfits and snow eringoes; let
there come a tempest of provocation, I will shelter me here.

– William Shakespeare. The Merry Wives Of Windsor Act V Scene V

I hadn’t remembered that it was “Snow Eringoes” – rather apt for this endless winter. Boston has – and winter isn’t actually over, so, SO FAR received 108.6 inches of the fluffy white stuff and Plymouth has had MORE….that’s  nine foot of snow shoveling. I will add ‘snow eringoes’ (which Spellcheck would really rather be ‘snow dingoes’) to the general snow vocabulary.

But, on to apple pies to fry

To fry Applepyes.

Take apples and pare them, and chop them very small, beat in a little cinnamon, a little ginger, and some sugar, a little rosewater, take your paste, roul it thin, and make them up as big pasties as you please, to hold a spoonful or a little lesse of your apples, and so stir them with butter not too hastily least they be burned.

  • W.I., Gent. A True Gentlewoman’s Delight. Falconwood ed. p. 8.

NOTES:What W.I, Gent is suggesting is that you

  1. pare some apples and chop them small
  2. add some powdered (beaten in a mortar with a pestle) cinnamon, ginger and sugar with a little rosewater [did you know that apples and roses are in the same botanical family – they really go very nicely together]
  3. Your paste is your pastry – a  nice buttery based pastry works well here.
  4. He says make them as big as you please – think coat buttons versus hand pies – raviolis or pierogies..

    I'm thinking several of these little filled pasta (pasta means paste....the apple pies are sweet....)would be nice

    I’m thinking several of these little filled pasta (pasta means paste….the apple pies are sweet….)would be nice

  5.   A spoonful or less for the filling – wet the edges and pinch them together good – use a fork in the modern kitchen – you don’t want these pretty babies falling apart in the frying pan.
  6. Put some butter in your frying pan – medium heat – you want to melt the butter and cook the pastry, not burn it.
  7. A sprinkle of sugar as they come out of the pan would not be amiss…you don’t want to use so much butter that they need to be blotted or drained.

How to make Apple-pyes to Fry.

Take about a dozen pippins, pare them, cut them, and almost cover them with water, and almost a pound of sugar, let them boyl on a gentle fire, close covered, with a stick of cinnamon, minced orange pill, a little dillseed beaten, rosewater, when this is cold and stiff, make it into a little pastie with rich paste.

  • William Rabisha. The Whole Body of Cookery, Dissected. p. 201.


  • Pippin is a kind of apple (generally it’s a non-specific variety)
  • This time you peel and cut and make applesauce out of them, with LOTS of sugar and a piece of cinnamon, orange peel and dillseed, and again the rosewater. Caraway seed is also very nice with apples. You can beat – or grind it to a powder, before you add it..
  • A rich paste is one made with lots of butter, and maybe an egg yolk, like a pate sucree  click here to see Martha Stewart’s version.
  • Again make up into little pies and fry in butter….enjoy!

If you’re interested in more about Pies, there is a National Pie Council…it’s America, there’s a group for everything!

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Filed under Recipe, The 17th century, winter

The Pies of Pi Day

Just coincidence, but Pi Day was also Opening Day at Plimoth Plantation.

I got to make pies, as part as a new program in the English Village :

Soule Food

George Soule came over in the Mayflower in 1620 and lived in Plymouth Colony until his death in 1679. Since Plymouth Colony came under Massachusetts Bay Colony rule (and then became known as ‘The Old Colony’) in 1692, the George Soule story is pretty much the Plymouth Colony Story.

So I picked  Parsnip Pies and  Apple Pies as pies that were seasonal in the 17th century and each had an important piece of the foodways story to tell.


Parsnips won't have much green this time of year, and the rind will definitely need peeling. They are said to be sweeter after a frost. But in the summer, you eat them smaller, so it rather evens all out.

Parsnips won’t have much green this time of year, and the rind will definitely need peeling. They are said to be sweeter after a frost. But in the summer, you eat them smaller, so it rather evens all out.

are one of the things you can plant in September and leave in the ground throughout the winter; they just keep growing, albeit slowly. They seed in their second year, so the won’t last through the warm weather – you’ll have to plant them again when the soil is warmer. You can enjoy them throughout the year.

To make a Tart of Parsneps & Scyrrets

Seeth yr roots in water and wine, pill them & beat them in a morter, with raw eggs & grated bread. bedew them often with rose water & wine, then streyne them & put sugar to them & some juice of leamons, & put it in ye crust; & when yr tart is baked, cut it up & butter it hot, or you may put some butter into it, when you set it into ye oven, & eat it cold. ye Juice of leamon you may eyther put in or leave out at yr pleasure.

Martha Washington’s Book of Cookery p.97


are another root, long out of fashion, that seem poised for a comeback.

This is me, holding skirrets for the New York Times in 2007.

This is me, out standing in my field, holding skirrets for the New York Times in 2011.

A Skirrette Pye

Take the large skirrets, scale them and peele them and season them with Cinnamon and sugar, take good store of marrow and season it with salt and nutmeg then Lay your marrow in the bottom of your pye the your skirrets with some Citron and Ringo Roots when it comes out of the oven putt with sack or white wine caudle.

EPSON scanner image

Almost forgotten at the back of a drawer for generations, Hannah Alexander’s Book of Cookery—which was first penned in Dublin in the late seventeenth century—has finally made it into print. First edition, 2014. Edited by Deirdre Nuttal. With an Introduction by Jennifer Nuttall née Alexander.

For more on skirrets

And then there were apples…..


Filed under Recipe, winter

Pi Day is coming!


Which makes me think of pie…..not just the circumference of a circle

pie chart

but if you’ve applied to MIT, there’s the other pi to consider

Since March 14, ’15 is also Opening Day for Plimoth Plantation there will be some pie there, too, in the 1624 English Village.

Parsnip Pie - minus the 21st century pan  - contender for Pi Day 1624

Parsnip Pie – minus the 21st century pan – contender for Pi Day 1624. It has to be seasonal as well as 17th century

A 21st century recipe for Parsnip Pie

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Filed under Pie, Recipe, winter

Odds and Ends

One thing I’d like to end is :


snow forrest 1440x900

Winter Wonder-is this snow ever going to end-  Land

It started snowing again. It wasn’t supposed to start for a couple of hours, AFTER I would have finished writing…and now I’m totally distracted.

It’s not like snow is food….except sometimes when it is:

FoodNetwork Snow Recipes click it

More snow = more shoveling.

There is a Zen of shoveling, a Tao of shoveling, a Way of shoveling.

tao imageAnd the way is thus –

Think not of this snow, but the next snow.

Where will the next snow go?

This snow must go beyond next snow.

Always shovel for the next snow.


shovel shovel scrape salt shovel shovel scrape lift with your knees and not your back shovel and rest

I’ve been making English muffins, some good, some odd, some far too large, and I think I’m closing in on the muffin that will not be just English, but mine.

March 1st is the Feast of Saint David, patron saint of Wales, also known as Saint Tavy – he’s the leek saint. I’ve been making leek and potato soup and I’ve got a great little book titled

First You Take A Leek

You can buy this on Amazon - some of this stuff I just can't make up!

You can buy this on Amazon – some of this stuff I just can’t make up!

But I’m not writing about that, either, because there is snow falling, and it distracts me and takes my attention.

Should I start shoveling now? Should I wait? Is it fluffy snow? Is it heavy? Do I have enough salt for the stairs and the sidewalk?

Even at night when it’s not snowing, huge heavy trucks have been driving by, shifting gears on the slight incline in front of my house, slowing down to take the corner at the next street three houses down, no rest for the snow weary.

Big trucks carrying snow.

snow trrain

This would be a much quieter snow truck, but this truck has not been in my neighborhood.

This would be a much quieter snow truck, but this truck has not been in my neighborhood.

This snow truck - unless it's really a snow car - we have several of these in the neighborhood.

This snow truck – unless it’s really a snow car – we have several of these in the neighborhood.

And so the Way of Snow is the Way of Shovel…what does snow weigh?


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Filed under Eating, winter

Rabbit Rabbit (Wabbit)

Trixie emeralds

The Mystery of the Emeralds (1962)

Chapter 1: “Rabbit! Rabbit!”

Trixie Belden awoke slowly, with the sound of a summer rain beating against her window. She half-opened her eyes, stretched her arms above her head, and then, catching sight of a large sign tied to the foot of her bed, yelled out, “Rabbit! Rabbit!” She bounced out of bed and ran out of her room and down the hall. “I’ve finally done it!” she cried […] “Well, ever since I was Bobby’s age I’ve been trying to remember to say ‘Rabbit! Rabbit!’ and make a wish just before going to sleep on the last night of the month. If you say it again in the morning, before you’ve said another word, your wish comes true.” Trixie laughed.”

Somewhere in my childhood – my life before junior high, say – I had started reading Trixie Belden, and specifically, this  Trixie Belden, the one with the Rabbit/Rabbit chapter. Trixie says two ‘rabbits’; others say three rabbits…

And once I had read it, rabbits popped up everywhere….Flopsy Bunnies

bunnies, floppsy

Assorted Flopsy Bunnies from Beatrix Potter

Dutch bunnies


Durer – Young Hare

and Bugs Bunnys

This image is titled "The Bugs Bunny Classic"

This image is titled “The Bugs Bunny Classic”

Notice how I’ve avoid any reference to March Hares…..

There is one other rabbit, though.

Jolly Rabbit.

She was JR before Dallas and that JR….

JR in dallas

When we were in junior high, we had secret code names…she was Jolly Rabbit because her initials were JR and I was Quail because, well, say kwall real fast –  it makes it own sort of sense.

So on the first of the month, I always think of her, whenever I would finally clue in that it was in fact the first of the month…and now I have to remember that she’s no longer a phone call or Facebook message away.

So many of my Judith memories are connected to food – we enjoyed a lot of meals together – tuna sandwiches, and blueberry pancakes and blini and horseradish testing and experimental soups and and and and and…..

March is (was) her birthday month.

If you’re remembering someone, they’re still in the present tense, right? Even if they are no longer present?

Happy Birthday, Judeen. XoX

Judith Recke

Judith Recke


Filed under Birthday, The 1970's