Thursday, September 25, 2014

Cats Laughing, a Real Thing?

It seems plans are in progress for a Minicon 50  reunion show. Just how this will be organized has yet to be determined but all the original members are up for it. Meanwhile, here's another blast from the past.

This was a fun gig. We got to watch some of the Twin Cities "names" do their thing with the Cats sandwiched in between. As you can see from the date on the set list we'd just released the "basement tape" a few weeks earlier. For some reason we decided to do all original material (I think - you'll have to ask Adam about Cream Pie Blues).

Some of that material didn't last, but my recollection is that we performed well. Fran Courteau, Beth's dad, was there and took some pictures.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Kennett Square Mushroom Festival

Every year in early September Kennett Square, PA puts on their Mushroom Festival. It always seems to fall on Beth's work weekend so we normally skip it. This year though I decided to head out anyway, eat some mushroom filled goodies and buy a bunch of fresh 'shrooms for immediate eating and dehydrating. In the past we've gone on Sunday when they have a mushroom soup competition but that wouldn't have been all that much fun without Beth and besides the Eagles were on at 1:00 so I headed out on the 45 minute drive a little after 9:00.

Mushroom Fest is always fun. There's plenty to eat in addition to mushrooms, goofy stuff including a National Fried Mushroom Eating Contest, several cooking competitions, and great people watching, especially the little kids suspiciously eye-balling some of the unfamiliar items.

Many Kennett Square Restaurants Were Serving
Want To Grow Your Own?
They're Healthy!
Mushrooms To Sit On

Mushrooms On Display in the Education Tent

Mushrooms to Buy
You bet I bought some. Three pounds each of Shiitake and Oyster.

After I got back on Saturday afternoon, I started in on the first of the fresh mushroom dishes:

First up, mushroom risotto. I sliced up some crimini mushrooms I already had along with a big bunch of my fresh Shiitake and broke apart the Oyster mushrooms. I sauteed each mushroom separately since each one takes a different length of time to cook. The risotto itself was just regular saffron risotto, though I omitted the usual enrichment of grated parmigiano because I felt it would overpower the mushrooms. I folded the mushrooms in off heat, dished it up and topped each serving with a few sauteed Chanterelles I'd snagged at Iovine Brothers on the way home Friday.

Sunday was mushroom pizza. That's half a batch of Bonci Dough, sliced Scipio Ibrido tomatoes from the garden, lightly sauteed Oyster and Shiitake mushrooms, and mozz topped with the rest of the Chanterelles.

Monday night I started dehydrating the remaining fresh mushrooms. First were the Oyster mushrooms...

I sliced off the fused stems holding together the individual mushrooms and broke them apart into separate pieces. There was no need to rinse then since they don't grow in compost.

They dried overnight at 110° F. I got up a little early, packed them into a quart canning jar and started another batch. I now understand why everyone says you'll want extra trays for your dehydrator.

The Shiitake's were almost as easy. Slice off the tough stems, rinse the caps (they always seem a little dusty to me) and cut them into quarter inch slices. Overnight again and there we have it:

There's abut a half pint more of dried Shiitake's hiding to the right.


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