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Saturday, 28 September 2013

RASPBERRY TARTS . . . irresistible!


 The Queen of Hearts
            She made some tarts
            All on a summer’s day.
            The Knave of Hearts
            He stole those tarts
            And took them clean away.
                        Nursery Rhyme


Here's a  tart for light fingers!

        From The New Purity Cookbook: the Complete Guide to Canadian Cooking

First, prepare the pastry shells:
·        Cream together:
2/3 cup softened butter  (to reduce the calories,sometimes I use only 1/3 cup)
½ cup lightly packed brown sugar
·        Beat in:
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 ½ cups flour

·        Divide the pastry evenly among 12 ungreased muffin cups.
·        Press into the muffin cups.

*Put a teaspoon of raspberry jam into each tart shell.
*Now, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
*Prepare the filling.
·        Cream together:
1/3 cup butter (this can be reduced to ¼ cup)
¼ cup granulated sugar
·        Beat in
1 egg
½ tbsp  grated lemon rind
2 teaspoons lemon juice
·        Blend together and stir in:
½ cup flour
½ tsp baking powder

·        Drop the batter into the tart shells, dividing it evenly.
·        Bake for 18 to 20 minutes.

I have been making these tarts since February, 1981.  They are delicious!


Happy Birthday to a couple of great-nephews!

Justin (David’s son: born 2005)

Tommy (Doug’s son: born 2006)

Interesting note:  The boys' fathers, Doug and David, were born less than a month apart.  J

Thursday, 26 September 2013


October 1:  The Vancouver Mycological Society has had a look at my pictures so I am going to add their comments to this post.  J
Honey mushroom:  Armillaria ostoyae?
According to the VMS (Vancouver Mycological Society: The first highly clustered ones don't look to me like Armillaria ostoyae because they appear to lack scales/fibrils near the center of the cap, and the caps appear hygrophanous, i.e., changing color as they dry, which is not a characteristic of the honey mushroom group.  It may be Pholiota mutabilis, which though edible, is quite similar to some dangerous Galerina species. 

In the Skagit Valley we saw many different mushrooms --

The VMS say:  The mushroom in the photo with the shoe is probably an Agaricus, and from the size & scales on the cap looks like Agaricus augustus.
                                                         BIG ones!

Thick ones

Small ones.
The VMS say: The "small ones" look like Clitocybe dilatata, which grows in troops on the ground and has "wubbly" white caps.  Also, there appears to be a white dust-like covering on the ground nearby, which are probably the spores, so it's very likely a white-spored species.
                                                                   PRETTY ones.
like this spiky lemon yellow beauty. The VMS say: The yellow spiky one is too young to even hazard a guess.  Possibly a species of Amanita.

Ugly oozy ones.

Bryan found some books in the library and I tried to identify the mushrooms . . . without much confidence L.      

Tiny red mushroom:  Hygrocybe miniata? The VMS say: The little red one is almost certainly a Hygrocybe.  Could be H. miniata, as you suggest, or H. coccinea or a young H. punicea.

 Coral fungi (Ramaria)?  The VMS say:  The gregarious tan coral is possibly Ramaria formosa or R. concolor, but this is a notoriously difficult group to identify even with the specimen in hand and they require microscopic examination.  The pink coral is surely aRamaria, but beyond that I couldn't say.

Russula occidentalis?
Russula rosacea?  If I'm right, apparently these taste "disgusting".  The VMS say:  Russulas are another group that are exceedingly difficult to identify with certainty, in part because the color of any given species can be highly variable.  I don't even try.  If you taste a small bit & spit it out, it is usually either mild/fungal or acrid, sometimes very acrid, a key characteristic for identification, but unfortunately even the taste is a variable character.

Hydnellum peckii?  covered with "drops of bright red liquid" like jelly The VMS say:  The Hydnellum is almost certainly H. peckii.  H. diabolus also has red spots and the very acrid taste of H. peckii, but it has not been confirmed to occur in our area, is generally associated with hardwoods (whereas I see pine needles in the photo), and there is debate as to whether it is really a distinct species.

Polyozellus multiplex?  Blue chanterelle?  If so, it's rare!  and should not be picked.  The VMS say I'm wrong.  The "Polyozellus multiplex" is not that but rather another Hydnellum, most likely H. caeruleum (which has no notable smell), but possibly H. suaveolens (which has a very strong almond smell).

Sarcodon scabrosus?  The VMS say:  The "Sarcodon scabrosus" is not that but rather Sarcodon imbricatus.  There is another species reported from Scandinavia that looks the same, but AFAIK no one has investigated whether both species occur here.
Hypomyces lactifluorum?  (Edible Lobster mushroom?) The VMS say: "Hypomyces lactifluorum" -- yes.  And I've eaten it.  The first one I had was really delicious, the 2nd one awful, and the most recent OK but not remarkable.  It may be that the 2nd one was too old, but I don't know how one determines that its "fresh".  
White parasitical fungus on a mushroom? The VMS say:  The white parasitic "mold" is very likely a species of Hypomyces/Sepedonium.
???Lycoperdon “or wolf fart”!!!  Yes, that's a quote from the mushroom book!  The VMS say:  The puff balls looks like Lycoperdon pyriforme, but it would be very unusual for them to be growing on such damp ground, so ???
Thank you very much to the Kent Brothers and the Vancouver Mycological Society!
So, Wild Mushroom Ragoƻt, anyone?
Or maybe not!
How about a nice camp sandwich instead?


from THE ULTIMATE SANDWICH BOOK by Louis De Gouy, et al

Peanut butter
Black olives, chopped
Shredded lettuce
Cheddar cheese, sliced
Horseradish, prepared
Dill pickle, thinly sliced

* Toast rye bread. (I think next time I won't toast it; the hard toast cut the roof of my mouth.)
* Spread bottom pieces with peanut butter, chopped olives, and shredded lettuce.
* Next layer on cheese and spread with horseradish.
* Add dill pickle slices and more shredded lettuce.
* Top with toasted rye.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013


 Jean Karsavina tells us that “Polish hospitality is legendary . . .

          Happy the squire when his guests are many,
            On bended knee he begs them to have seconds . . .”
Nice, but not a problem for him and his rich friends, since Jean says that  the rich “lived in feudal splendor on their vast estates”.

Meanwhile, however, there was a sardonic Ukrainian saying that goes like this:

     The lord master promises a fur coat,
     Warm are his words.
                        (Mary Stadnyk)

As Jean Karsavina says "the poor were very poor, utilizing “whatever was at hand” including wild honey, wild berries, mushrooms, fish, crayfish, and game.

 In particular, Kasza, Jean says, is one of “the mainstays of everyday diet” in Poland.  The word kasza “may mean buckwheat groats, pearl barley, or cereal meal”.
          (Woman’s Day Encyclopedia of Cookery, Vol. 17)

Krupnik, according to Jean, is Polish for barley and Barley Soup.


Considering that the poor on many of those Polish estates were Ukrainian peasants, it's not surprising that Barley Soup is something Mom often made.

June 15, 1988:  Mom wrote, “I made a pot full of barley soup.”
July 9, 1989

I been resting a lot and made barley soup so I will have that for two days.  

I loved Mom’s Pot Barley Soup, and it’s still one of my favourites, but  Jean Karsavina's recipe looks way different from the soup Mom made, so I can't resist trying it.  Today's the day for:



½ pound soup bone with meat
½ pound diced mixed raw vegetables
2 dried mushrooms  or 8 fresh diced mushrooms
10 cups water
2 teaspoons salt
¼ tsp pepper
3 medium potatoes, pared and diced
½ cup pearl barley cooked in 2 cups water and 1 tbsp butter (or follow directions on package)  I omitted the butter.

1 cup sour cream (optional)
2 raw egg yolks (optional)
1 ½ tbsp butter  (optional)
1 tablespoon chopped parsley or dill or a combination of both

·        Put water and meat in stock pot.  Bring to a boil and skim.
·        Add diced vegetables, mushrooms, salt, and pepper.  Reduce heat and simmer for one hour.
·        Chop the parsley and set aside.
·        Dice and add potatoes to the soup.   Simmer another 20 minutes.
·        Remove bones and meat. 
·        Cut up mushrooms and return to soup.
·        Add the barley.
·        Bring to a boil.
·        Whisk some soup into sour cream.  Then add all of the sour cream to the soup.  Taste for seasoning.
·        Whisk some soup into beaten egg yolks. 
·        Then slowly add all of the egg yolks to soup.  Careful or it will curdle.
·        Add 1 ½ tablespoons butter and the parsley.  Then serve.  (I omitted the butter.)

                                                             Very nice!

(I made it with previously prepared chicken stock so my soup did not have the chopped diced vegetables -- it only had diced potatoes and mushrooms.  I also included the sour cream and egg yolks.  The result was delicate -- an excellent soup for company.)

Here's my version:
KRUPNIK   (4 servings)  

4 cups chicken stock
4 mushrooms
Salt to taste
1 medium red potato, pared and diced
¼ tsp dried dillweed   
¼ cup pearl barley cooked in 1 cup water for 35 min
 ½ cup sour cream
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon chopped parsley  

·        Dice and add potatoes and mushrooms to the chicken stock.   Add dillweed.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.  Taste the potato to see if it’s cooked.
·        Taste for salt.
·        Remove from heat and set aside until serving.  
·        Cook and add the barley to the soup.
·        Chop the parsley and set aside.
Serving Time:
·        Bring the soup to a boil.
·        Whisk some soup into sour cream.  Then add all of the sour cream to the soup.  Taste for seasoning.
·        Whisk some soup into beaten egg yolk. 
·        Then slowly add all of the egg yolks to soup.  Careful or it will curdle.

·        Add the parsley.  Then serve.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Skagit Valley Hike and a Picnic Lunch

 You have to spend 45 minutes dodging potholes but the Silver/Skagit Road is beautiful and so is the campground 

with many sites where you can be right by the fast flowing river.

Day 1:  we shared our picnic table with this local:

On Day 2, we hiked only a few kilometers of the "easy" 14.5 km Skagit River Trail,

and it was all gorgeous.

I didn’t find this uphill part easy though

especially inching over a rock slide

but the view was worth it

and the next part was like a Hobbit trail

down to the river

which was the perfect spot for a picnic:   

from Family Circle Soups and Sandwiches Cookbook © 1978

2 tbsp honey
8 ounces cream cheese (250 g package)
2 ounces chopped dates
½  cup chopped walnuts
Raisin Bread (sliced)
Red apples  (½ apple per camper, cut into thin wedges)

* Beat honey into softened cream cheese.
* Mix in dates and walnuts.
* Spread on raisin bread (depends on number of campers, but thickly is good)
* Serve with wedges of apples.

These sandwiches go well with apple juice.
You can freeze them, too, and they don't get mushy!