Mushrooms and Muffins

Mushroom Stoup 

Mushroom stoup: prep work done
Yesterday (12th March) I made Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's mushroom stoup. In his book River Cottage Veg Everyday, he describes this mushroom fest as "somewhere between a soup and a stew." The ingredients include dried porcini mushrooms, onions, carrots, celery, fresh mushrooms, garlic, parsley and dill. There's the usual chopping in order to prepare, but there is also the soaking of the dried porcini mushrooms, the liquor from which is used later in the stoup. What really tempted me to make this stoup was the addition of dumplings. As might be expected from a vegetarian recipe, vegetarian suet was required. Vegetarians should look away now. I couldn't find any vegetarian suet so I used the well known non-vegetarian brand. 

I haven't made dumplings in a long time. The spouse thinks he remembers me making them but can't say when. I can remember making them in domestic science at school as an accompaniment to liver and bacon casserole. My mother used to make great dumplings, usually to go with oxtail stew and probably heavier than Hugh FW would like, but always tasty all the same. 

Mushroom stoup with dumplings
Anyway, the mushroom stoup was very good. Even the younger offspring liked it. 

I love mushrooms. And I quite like Sylvia Plath's poem about mushrooms, which I first came across ten years ago: 

Overnight, very
Whitely, discreetly,
Very quietly
Our toes, our noses
Take hold on the loam,
Acquire the air. 
It begins quite innocently and benignly, but it ends with a sense of threat: 

We shall by morning
Inherit the earth.
Our foot's in the door.
Don't go down to your cellar alone. 

More Muffins 

Rocky road muffins
On 10th March I baked rocky road muffins using Gill MacLennan's recipe. The ingredients include chocolate, walnuts and marshmallows. I had to substitute a combination of creme fraiche and yoghurt for soured cream and it seemed to work. I made a double batch (thirty muffins in all) in order to cater for the needs of the younger offspring's buddies and my colleagues. 

The younger offspring was contributing to some sort of multicultural food fest and his group's theme was Indian food. I suggested that he call the muffins Rajasthan or Rajput road muffins. 

And now to finish with a bit of music. A while ago I mentioned Adrian Crowley and a song called Squeeze Bees. Now you can find it on YouTube. 

Bye for now. 



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