4 11, 2021



Clam chowder. Homemade deliciosity in about an hour. I am a weather-based cook. The minute I can see my breath, I'm making those cold-weather comfort foods: Soup. Chili. Meatloaf. Hot cocoa. Clam chowder. Or rather, chowdah. This week, our little band of intrepid mushroomers headed back up to the soggy logging trails, looking for late-season treasure. The Northwest's [...]

14 07, 2021

Backyard farming, crawdads and a few agates


We spent the spring and early summer waiting for these beauties to ripen. When they did--BANG--they needed to be used immediately. The realities of summer for a backyard farmer: Pick it or lose it, babe. Gardeners probably roll their eyes at that, in a "well, DUH, dummy!" kinda way, but it's caused some significant changes in this citygal's [...]

Backyard farming, crawdads and a few agates2021-07-14T18:53:26-07:00
14 10, 2020

Nathan’s spaghetti sauce


Nathan's famous wild mushroom spaghetti sauce, with about two pounds of fresh-picked chanterelles, hot Italian sausage, ground beef, crisped bacon, and a boatload of tomatoes. Incredible stuff. My friend Carol says that  New York Italians don't call that rich, red-and-meaty pasta topper, "spaghetti sauce." They call it "gravy." Ooookay...whatever the semantics, I make a mean spaghetti gravy-sauce. However, [...]

Nathan’s spaghetti sauce2020-10-14T16:08:52-07:00
11 10, 2020

Saturdays past and ‘shrooms


"Mmmmm," sighed The Resident Carpenter-Blacksmith in happy satisfaction, "That's the sound of mushrooms growing." The blessed rain was finally FINALLY coming down, spattering windows and clearing the obnoxious, lung-clogging firesmoke that's turned Oregon breathing into a cautionary tale. And it has an added benefit: Rain grows mushrooms. "Bring on the RAIN!" I gleefully agreed. On my first [...]

Saturdays past and ‘shrooms2020-10-11T19:49:03-07:00
2 05, 2020

Sonker. Not sinker. Sonker.


Sonkers need to be served with great vanilla ice cream A tiny smidgen of silver to line the COVID-19 cloud: The "homely arts" are reappearing as a treasured part of daily life. Not saying I like what's going on--I don't, not at all--or that I wouldn't really like to have my old life back, right about now, but [...]

Sonker. Not sinker. Sonker.2020-05-03T10:08:39-07:00
22 04, 2020

Herbal sandwich buns


Using these rolls as they were meant: Hamburgers I've been baking bread and inventing bread recipes since I was about 9 years old; it's one of my favorite kitchen chores, although I rarely have time for it. COVID-19, however, is making me a lot more conscious of wasting less and making more, instead of just heading for the [...]

Herbal sandwich buns2020-04-19T16:25:30-07:00
15 04, 2020

Banana nut pantry muffins


I made 14 of these little gems yesterday with pantry leftovers. They're going fast. Produce aisles turn me into a health nut. The sight of all those vitamin-bursting fruits and veggies, piled high in glowing harlequin pyramids, sends me straight into irrationality. "Lessee...Monday we'll steam the broccoli rabe and fix a fresh strawberry mousse with raspberry puree for [...]

Banana nut pantry muffins2020-04-13T10:38:44-07:00
28 10, 2019

Comfort food: Black Walnut Ice Cream


Black walnut ice cream, chunky-full of nuts and smelling like heaven Most people wouldn't put black walnut ice cream and "delicious" together. Black walnuts may LOOK like English walnuts, but the very first bite mugs your mouth with a musky, who-died-on-my-tongue putrescence. eating ICE CREAM with those things? "Spit me out, NOW." Ignore your yammering brain and [...]

Comfort food: Black Walnut Ice Cream2019-10-28T11:20:50-07:00
21 10, 2019

Comfort food: Stalking the Wild Hungarian Mushroom Soup


Tonight's version of Hungarian Mushroom soup included crimini, oyster, and shiitake mushrooms. Plus a LOT of sour cream. I hadn't lived in Portland long before my friends Joel and Jim flew in for a visit. They announced--two minutes after arrival--that "We're taking you for Hungarian Mushroom Soup." That was my introduction to an incredible soup at a place [...]

Comfort food: Stalking the Wild Hungarian Mushroom Soup2019-10-21T13:25:30-07:00
18 10, 2019

Comfort food: Hominy casserole


I was GONNA take a picture of the hominy casserole, fresh out of the oven in all its glory...but it didn't last that long. You couldn't say my ex-mother-in-law and I got along, exactly, but I'd be the last to criticize her cooking. She could make cardboard stew delicious...mostly because her three favorite ingredients were sour cream, butter, [...]

Comfort food: Hominy casserole2019-10-18T12:20:14-07:00
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