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Mushrooms….
I love mushrooms.
I’ve been hunting morels
Each day for a week.
And today I found some–
Did you hear me shriek?
Now my mouth is packed with mushrooms cheek to cheek.

Beat it, Bub!
No, I won’t share with you!
Don’t care if you
Love mushrooms, too–
Sue me!

Heaven…
I’m in heaven.
And my mouth’s so full
It’s impolite to speak.
And I know I’ve found
The happiness I seek
When my mouth is packed with mushrooms cheek to cheek.

First of the season. Only found a few today–enough to bread and fry and, because I’m better than my song, to share with Charlie and Mom. The season has begun! Stand back!

MA
writing prompt: What would you brave snakes and ticks to go into the woods to find?

It’s wet. Been raining all night, looks like it’ll rain all day. Mist in the trees, looks like a rain forest. Everything feels damp–I mean, duh, it’s raining–but everything feels soaked through–supersaturated. You can feel mold growing on your eyeballs. You expect to meet people dressed in moss, with mushrooms in their hair.

In an attempt to cheer myself up, I made another mushroom press. I need a real name for that food–it sounds like something you make something with, not something you make to eat.

Okay, you take a small lump of your pre-made ARTISAN BREAD IN FIVE MINUTES A DAY basic recipe and flour it up and press it out as thin as you can without tearing it.

shroom1

Then you cut up portobello mushrooms and sprinkle them with garlic salt and Parmesan cheese. Or put whatever you want on. You can use ham and cheddar. You can use scrambled eggs and sausage. Whatever.

shroom2

Fold it over and oil it and a panini press or lean and mean grill. Put it on and close the grill. This took about five minutes.

shroom3

Charlie and I split it and had it for breakfast, along with fresh tomatoes.

shroom4

It didn’t cheer me up.

Meh.

MA

writing prompt: What food does your main character turn to in an attempt to cheer up?

We had our vegetarian/carnivore stroganoff last night, and it was very good, indeed. I made garlic bread using a hunk of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day’s recipe for brotchen, except I worked in some garlic powder and Italian mixed cheeses before I put it to rise and didn’t put water in the oven with it. The crust was soft and the interior was packed with all kinds of flavors.

Another thing this bread would go well with is this ravioli dish I made a bit ago:ravnchsck

RAVIOLI AND CHICKEN

  • ravioli
  • frozen peas
  • pre-cooked chicken, cubed
  • fresh mushrooms
  • butter
  • Parmesan cheese

Fry the mushrooms in a dry pan. Meanwhile, cook the ravioli. Add butter to mushrooms. Add peas and chicken and stir until hot through. Drain ravioli and divide onto plates. Top with vegetables. Sprinkle with fresh-grated Parmesan cheese.

The dessert is leftover cheesecake topped with fresh strawberries marinated in sugar.

MA

writing prompt: How did your main character’s mother spend her latest Mother’s Day? If she’s deceased, how did she spend her last one?

One of our friends in Louisville gave us some eggs, some of which have green shells. The green is very delicate, and may not show up in this snappy,green eggs and ham but it’s obvious in person. This is supposed to look like a happy face, btw. Just so you know. Yes, I know what else it looks like, but it’s supposed to be a happy face. Be nice.

Mom and I had a great prime rib dinner last night at Magdalena’s. We each had enough left over to bring home for another meal. I have some portobello mushrooms, and some noodles, and some sour cream, so I see prime rib stroganoff in my future.

STROGANOFF FOR VEGETARIANS AND CARNIVORES

I’ll cook the noodles, then I’ll fry the mushrooms in a dry pan to concentrate the flavor, then I’ll melt some butter in with them, stir in some flour, add some milk and, when it’s nice and bubbly, I’ll take some out for Charlie. Then I’ll put in some of the prime rib cut into small cubes and some sour cream and freshly-ground pepper. We’ll each have our own particular sauce over noodles.

MA

writing prompt: What does your main character do for Mother’s Day? What does your villain do?

Been finding SO MANY morels, I’m delerious with joy. So happy, I actually cooked something time-consuming yesterday.

Of course, it helped that I didn’t turn the computer on yesterday. Used the tamalesApril Fool virus threat as an excuse to take a day off from the time-sucker. Actually CLEANED MY OFFICE, which was like one of the labors of Hercules. I did a good long search in the woods. Then I made tamales. I have some Maseca, or tamale dough mix, and I have some dried corn husks. I had some smoked pork roast left over, so I chopped it, spread the dough on the soaked husks, mixed the roast and some cheese and wrapped it in the husks and put it in my rice cooker/steamer. Steamed them for about an hour and topped with warmed salsa.

There’s a new place about to open called Colokial: Expressions of the World. colokialLooks like gifts from around the world. I don’t know if it’s Fair Trade yet. The web site, http:///www.colokial.com, is “under construction”. I’m looking forward to seeing it.

Now I have to go pick up #2 daughter from the hospital where she went to get a shot for her migraine. 😦

MA

Writing prompt: Have a new shop open that interests and excites one of your characters.

Had a good morning with Mom and at the library, enjoying the high-speed connection. Then came home, put on my woodsy clothes, sprayed for critters and ventured forth.4leaf

The first thing I found was this. Can you see it? I used not to be able to see four-leaf clovers, until my friend Jane, who could spot them at a distance, told me to look at the centers. You look at the center of a clover, and you can see the difference between a regular one and a polyform one. When we both lived in Louisville, I would always take her the first 4-leaf I found in spring, to say thanks for teaching me the pleasure of finding them. Now, I’ll have to send it to her by email.

trufflehoundsIn the woods, I didn’t think I was going to find any mushrooms. It’s been damp, but it’s turned chilly. But I persevered, and I found a goodly number, some of them quite large. Of course, I had some help: Al, our #4 daughter’s 17-year-old cat, and Joe, our #1 grandson’s Lab/Dalmatian.

I brought home my haul and made supper: salmon croquettes, peas, and the mushrooms in a cream sauce spooned over all.

shroomsbread

salmon-and-shrooms

Went to Mom’s and read her some of Terry Pratchett’s SMALL GODS.

When I got home, the TV was on, but nobody was in evidence. Then our #1 daughter’s husband came up from the basement: we were under a tornado warning. I called Mom and told her to turn on her television and maybe go to the basement, and I went down. #1 daughter and family don’t have a basement, so they come to ours when there’s severe weather. We never wanted Riley to be frightened, so we always called the shelter-taking “storm parties”. If we were going to be downstairs for any length of time, we took snacks and games. Now he brings his own games. He and his dad played several quick games of “The Eye of Horus”, and we talked and laughed.

The house didn’t blow away, and we all went our various ways.

A good day.

MA

Writing prompt: What is a lucky charm for your main character/antagonist?

Yesterday was so cold, I didn’t go anywhere. That’s always a happy circumstance for me.

Charlie took our #2 daughter for her regular colonoscopy while I worked on web sites and Culinary Chronicles. He brought #2 daughter home to recover a little, which was a MOST happy surprise. She (UNLIKE ME) is a vegetarian, so I made her a mushroom and cheese omelet for lunch. I haven’t had an opportunity to cook just for her in a long time. Then she took a nap on the couch. I do love having any of the kids around, taking comfort in the old home place.

MUSHROOM AND CHEESE OMELET

  • mushrooms cut into chunks or slices
  • eggs
  • sour cream
  • marjoram
  • salt and pepper
  • butter
  • mild cheddar cheese, shredded or grated

Toast the mushrooms in a dry non-stick skillet on medium low until they start to brown. If you’re adding HAM or BACON, do that now, too. Meanwhile, beat eggs and a little sour cream (about 1 tsp per egg). Add salt, pepper, marjoram and cheese. Put butter in the pan with the mushrooms. When the butter is melted, pour in the egg mixture. Put a lid on the pan and cook until the edges brown. If the top isn’t done, slide the omelet out onto a plate and flip it back into the skillet. When it’s done, fold it in half or roll it up and slide it onto a plate.

After Charlie took #2 daughter home, #4 daughter came for a visit. We had a great time, as always, yakking about Life and Writing. #4 is Sara Deurell, a fabulous writer. She’s starting an ezine for stories that don’t fit any particular genre (right up MY alley, in fact….) and I’m going to host her files on my server space. Fictotum is the name of her zine, and she’s looking for submissions. No money for right now, just exposure. If you’re interested, go to Fictotum and submit. There won’t be any ads on the page when she transfers the files to her new host, not unless she puts them there.

I made supper:

TORTELLINI WITH ALFREDO CARBONARA

  • frozen tortellini with cheese
  • portobello mushrooms
  • pre-cooked packaged bacon
  • butter
  • milk
  • cream
  • oregano
  • marjoram
  • salt and pepper
  • egg
  • shredded mixed Italian cheeses

Cook the tortellini according to package directions. Drain. Meanwhile, toast the mushrooms in a dry non-stick skillet at medium low until they’re browned. Somewhere in there, cut up the pre-cooked bacon. The pre-cooked is MUCH less greasy than regular bacon. Beat the egg, herbs and spices together and set aside. Add the milk and cream to the pan and heat. Put a little of the hot liquid into the egg and stir. Add a little more hot liquid, then a little more, until the egg mixture is as hot as the pan liquid, then add the egg mixture to the pan and heat until the sauce thickens (it will still be liquid). Put the tortellini into a big bowl and pour the sauce over it. Sprinkle the top with as much cheese as you like and stir it all in together. The hot sauce will melt the cheese.

Tonight, I’m taking Mom to Magdalena’s for her birthday prime rib dinner. YUM!

MA

Writing prompt: Cross some genres–Little Bo Peep meets Darth Vader.

I am all about cooking in one vessel, because a dish unused is a dish unwashed. So I made this one evening. I defrosted a couple of Tilapia fillets, sprinkled them with herbs and spices and put them aside. Then I cut up some Portabella mushrooms and toasted them in a dry skillet. Then added some garlic-flavored olive oil and browned the fish on both sides. I had some left-over Kashi (mixed grains), so I put that in, some onion and some fresh kale, covered it and turned the heat down and steamed it until the kale was tender. Divided it all into two plates for Charlie and myself. It was very good, and it looked nice, too.

I’m sitting here in my office, looking out the window. My husband sometimes uses my office but says he won’t be using it much after the election (he’s active in political blogging). Still, he suggested I set the office up so “I” can look out of the window in the direction of the driveway. He says it’s such a beautiful view. I’m like, “The driveway is a beautiful view? The WOODS, in the OPPOSITE DIRECTION is a beautiful view.” From this direction, though, “I” can see who’s coming, who’s stopping at Mom’s, who’s going past to daughter Annie’s. And, since we live IN the woods, there are certainly trees to be seen in this direction, as well. I’m not quite sure what’s up with the view thing, but it’s okay. I’m enough of a control freak to like being able to keep an eye on the traffic back here. Anybody remember Gladys Kravitz?

MA

Writing prompt: You’re looking out the window and see something suspicious.

WELCOME TO MY BLAHG

Here is where I ramble on about whatever happens to fall through my mind. I also have a professional site, where I post about my books, stories, news and appearances. Every month, I post a “Hot Flash” there–a story or prose poem of about 50 words. I hope you enjoy your visit. –Marian Allen

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