Category Archives: Vegetables

A Wonderful Gift: An Edible Forest Jewel


I was greeted at work today with a wonderful gift from my co-worker Chris Henry: freshly foraged chanterelles.

I’ve only ever tried some dried ones from a grocery store, which I’m told is nothing like having them fresh. The fresh ones are meaty and earthy. Well, that’s what I’m told, and I’ll be finding out for myself soon.

Chris suggested I sautee them with a little oil and garlic or put them in stew, which will be where I’ll head first. In the next couple days, I’ll be looking up some recipes (and I’d love suggestions, hint, hint …). First stop: a story Chris wrote a couple years ago on wild mushroom hunting featuring these lovely fungi. It includes recipes for a mushroom potato soup (which may be the second thing I try), stir-fried chanterelles with Bok Choy and Fettucine Alfredo with chanterelle .

It’s apparently prime season for mushroom hunting, which I hope to learn more about soon. Where I’ll start: the Kitsap Peninsula Mycological Society. They have a wild mushroom show coming up Sunday, Oct. 25 from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Silverdale Community Center. They’ll have tastings, displays and identification. Admission is free, but donations are polite.

More Squashy Advice

When I wrote about heirloom pumpkins a couple weeks ago, I had also asked gardening columnist Chris Smith if the kind I brought back from my in-laws grew in Kitsap and what made for good baking pumpkins.

He didn’t answer me in time for the blog post, but he included my question in his column today. He recommends baby sugar pumpkins for baking and offers other squash-growing-related advice.

Election Night = Atkins Antithesis

It’s election night at the Kitsap Sun. That means a newsroom buzzing at a later-than-normal hour with the chatter of cable news TV, the usual clicking of keyboards and chorus last minute phone calls as reporters and editors wait for our local results to stream in around 8 p.m.

Oh, and there’s the scrunching sound of napkins squeezed between pizza-grease-soaked fingers and the crinkle of candy wrappers. Keeping with tradition, we’re being fueled by pizza, courtesy of editor Scott Ware.

(We’ve handled the situation without fanfare, though it’s been a controversy in other newsrooms.)

We’ve also got a(nother) bag of extra Halloween candy to dispatch, and many of us went to the big coffee house you’ve undoubtedly heard of to get free Election Day coffee.

Since this is a food blog, I’ll give you the recipe:

1. Dial your pizza joint of choice and gracefully tolerate being put on hold for a minute.

2. When you’re back on the line with a real person, describe the size pie you’d like. Ex: Small, Medium, Large or Extra Large.

3. List your desired toppings slowly to the associate.

4. Wait 30 minutes, pay the delivery person (who will come right to your door!) and include a reasonable tip.

5. Open the box, pry off a slice of your pie and enjoy. Napkins are an optional, but recommended, addition.

Who Knew Squash Could Taste Like That?

Galeux D\'eysines squash My in-laws love growing their own food. They have barrels for green beans. Their property is dotted with apple, pear and plum trees.

And then there’s the squash patch.

Fertilized with a healthy heap of horse manure, their dozen little starts of summer squash, heirloom pumpkins and other winter squash turned into this mass of vines and gourds that left them way more than they, or my husband and I, or their friends, and our friends could eat It offered a wonderful opportunity to experiment in the kitchen without feeling like I wasted the plant.

One of the gems from the garden was a French heirloom pumpkin called a Galeux D’eysines Squash that she grew from mail-order seeds .

Galeux D\'eysines squash It’s as big as a six-month-old baby with salmon-colored skin and a mass of sugar warts all over it. The flesh is a bright, happy orange and hard as a rock. It took a little patience to work with, but it was perhaps the tastiest pumpkin I’ve ever had.

I gave half away, half-baked a quarter at 350-degrees just enough to make it easier to chop up, and baked the other quarter until it was soft enough to mash.

I sauteed some chopped-up pieces and covered it with sage crisped in browned butter over the top (it was a little softer than I had liked). I also mashed it with some cooked minced garlic and milk, salt and pepper.

And, of course, there were desserts. Next post: Pumpkin pie.

I couldn’t track down any place in Kitsap that sold them, so you might have to wait until next year until you can grow them yourself.

However, Nikki from Pheasant Fields Farm in Silverdale said that although they don’t have the Galeax D’eysines (it was the first she’d heard of it), she suggested another one: "My most favorite pumpkin for cooking purposes is the Long Island Cheese pumpkin. When prepared for pies, it has a wonderful creamy texture
about it that makes a really great pumpkin pie." Ann Vogel wrote about it about a year ago.

She also passed on a winter-squash glossary that has tips on how to work with and cook winter squashes on . If I don’t squash myself out, I’m going to have to try some of those recipes.