Monday, September 21, 2020

Hen-of-the-Woods #1

 This is a photo of me at the moment I found my first hen-of-the-woods.  It was sitting at the base of an old oak tree at a bend in the trail, staring right at me.  It wanted to be found.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Mushrooms of Northwestern Massachusetts

We went on a long, easy hike in the Mt. Greylock area last weekend on a cool morning a few days after some rainfall.  We filled our packs with some choice edible mushrooms.

King Boletes:

Honey Mushrooms:

  These Birch Polypores aren't for the table, but they were extremely beautiful:

We also visited a trusty Chicken-of-the-Woods spot and found a nice bunch.  I got too excited though and forgot to take a photo!  Until next time...

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Peperonata for Breakfast

It's late summer and peppers are abundant at the market.  A few sweet specimens, sliced with an onion and cooked slowly in olive oil, made a delicious breakfast with a few fried eggs this morning.  I added some fresh oregano and a small plum tomato for a lark.

2-3 sweet peppers (preferably a combination of yellow, red, and orange), thinly sliced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 plum tomato, chopped
chili flakes
olive oil
3 eggs

Heat olive oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat.  Add the peppers and onion and season with salt and pepper.  Cook until softened, then lower the heat to medium-low.  You don't want to create much if any browning--just slowly cook the peppers and onions to coax all of the sweetness out of them, for about 20 minutes.  Stop here if you wish, or add garlic, chili flakes, and a pinch of fresh oregano, stir for a minute, and then add the chopped tomato and another pinch of salt.  Raise the heat to medium and cook for another 10 minutes or so until the tomato has softened.  Top with a few fried eggs!

Monday, August 31, 2020

Harriman State Park / Cinnabar Chanterelles

 What a beautiful morning in Harriman State Park yesterday!  There was a distinct whisper of Fall in the air, especially along this ridgeline:

I wish I had gotten a photo of this cluster of cinnabar chanterelles before we excitedly picked them--they were so vibrant popping up out of the soil.  These will find their way into some scrambled eggs tomorrow morning:

Friday, August 21, 2020

Hake with Peppers & Onions


This recipe was adapted from Melissa Clark via the NYTimes:

I used hake, but this would work well with any thin filet of white flaky fish.  The cooking method is very straightforward, quick and clean.  Great for a weeknight and great for this time of year when there are a variety of delicious sweet peppers available at the market.  For this recipe I used Carmens and Jimmy Nardellos.

1lb hake
3-4 sweet peppers, sliced thinly
1 medium onion
Handful of black olives, chopped
Handful of sungold tomatoes
A few thyme sprigs
Parsley, chopped
Basil, chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped
Splash of apple cider vinegar
Pinch of chile flakes
Olive oil

Preheat the oven to 400.  Rub the fish with a little olive oil, season with salt & pepper and sprinkle with thyme leaves.

Thinly slice peppers & onion, toss with olive oil, salt & pepper, and place on a sheet pan.  Top with thyme sprigs.  Roast for 20 minutes.

Turn the oven up to 500.  Move the peppers & onions to the perimeter of the sheet pan and place the fish in the center.  Top with the olives & sungolds and a drizzle of olive oil and salt.  Roast for about 10 minutes or until the fish is firm and opaque.

Meanwhile, make a pesto--chop the parsley, basil, and garlic clove finely.  Add olive oil and a splash of apple cider vinegar.  Add sea salt, some black pepper, and a pinch of chile flakes.  You should strive to create a nice drizzle-able consistency. 

Remove the sheet pan from the oven.  Discard the thyme stems.  Serve, spooning the pesto over the fish & peppers.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Views from the White Mountains

 From the summit of Mt. Osceola in the clouds:

From the Welch-Dickey Loop:

Crawford Notch from the summit of Mt. Willard:

George Howell La Encenada Medium


Method: Pour-over (Bee House dripper)

Ratio: 23g coffee/380g water

This Guatemalan coffee comes from a group of 11 farmers sharing terroir--the beans are blended and roasted together.  This coffee is at the darker end of a medium roast.  Lots of chocolate with a little cherry juice.  Really nice fruity aroma..  I like it.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Hen-of-the-Woods #1

 This is a photo of me at the moment I found my first hen-of-the-woods.  It was sitting at the base of an old oak tree at a bend in the trai...