"United we bargain, divided we beg."

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Taking a Break from Home Improvement (Farmer's Market)

Unable to do anything more immediately on the house, and really really tired of thinking and writing about it, the kids and I took a personal day yesterday. We went to the YMCA and went swimming. We perused downtown thrift shops for christmas tins and craft supplies (yup, just about that time of year!). And we went to the Bellingham Saturday Farmer's Market, which goes on through December.

Probably due to the mild temperatures we've been enjoying, there is still plenty of produce. Summer goods like the tomatoes above are gone, of course, but there are still all kinds of lovely greens, carrots and root vegetables, garlic, hard squash in all it's crazy variety, apples and nuts, and of course, mushrooms.

Again due to the long mild fall with a steady supply of rain, it's been a great year for mushrooms. There were chanterelles and lobster mushrooms everywhere. In the case of mushrooms and other foraged goods, it really pays to look around. Inside the market proper at the booths chanterelles were going for $10 or $12 a pound. On the sidewalk outside I got them for $6. A couple of years ago I remember I was able to trade for chanterelles - bacon and eggs, if I recall. This year I just forked over some cash. Oh well, there's always next year.

I decided to make mushroom gravy and serve it over baked potatoes for dinner. Mushroom gravy is great even if you don't have wild mushrooms to work with - and any excess can be stored in the fridge and used as the base for mushroom soup.

Mushroom Gravy

1 pound fresh wild mushrooms - or whatcha got - chopped
1/2 stick butter
1/4 cup flour
1 small onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
little bit rosemary
white wine
salt and pepper

melt butter and add mushrooms and vegetables over medium heat. Stir with a wooden spoon occasionally. Mushrooms will throw off a lot of liquid which must be evaporated before you can add the flour, but you don't want to burn the butter. So keep the heat moderate and just wait. When pan is fairly dry, sprinkle flour over in small amount, stirring until incorporated. This will make a weird, unappetizing paste. Don't worry. Keep stirring and when pan begins to look quite dry, add the wine (about a cup). Stir well. At this point you need to stir pretty much constantly. Any time the mixture starts to look dry, add milk by the half-cup. All in all I imagine you will add something less than a quart of milk. Let simmer slowly over medium low heat for a few minutes. Salt and pepper to taste (I like a lot of pepper). Pour over toast or baked potatoes or noodles and shower with minced parsley.


Dea-chan said...

We had dinner with family last night, and made steak with a mushroom gravy. Sooooo tasty. :-P

Also, hooray for farmer's markets!

The 4 Bushel Farmgal said...

Our markets are getting ready to stop for the winter. So sad to see them disappear.

I guess mushroom gravy will have to be on my list of things to try. I've never made it, but thought of it on a baked potato it really tempting right now!

The 4 Bushel Farmgal said...

Our markets are getting ready to stop for the winter. So sad to see them disappear.

I guess mushroom gravy will have to be on my list of things to try. I've never made it, but thought of it on a baked potato it really tempting right now!

Holly said...

Oh how I'd love to go to a farmer's market that had the variety of vegetables and mushrooms that you enjoy but alas, little grows in this area. I guess I'll just have to dream fueled by your experiences.

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