Fungal feast!

Since David and I went to Revelstoke to pick mushrooms, I have been eating chanterelles almost every day for almost a month! I have not documented all the different recipies that I’ve used the mushrooms for, but in my opinion you can for example add them to creamy pasta sauces, quiche, beef stroganoff, pizza, soup, or simply just serve them on a piece of toast.

A large part of the harvest is also stored in our miniscule freezer. Before you freeze the mushrooms though, you want to fry them in a bunch of butter with some salt and white pepper (it enhances the flavour of the chanterelles). I freeze them in old philadelphia cheese containers, it makes a perfect portion to defrost and use all year round.

The variery that commonly grows here in BC, Canada is the White chanterelle (Cantharellus subalbidus). It is said to be even more flavourful than the golden one that I am used to from back home.

When the chanterelles are just picked they still have that creamy white colour, but as soon as they get a little bruised they get yellow stains. Nothing that you need to cut off though.

Here’s a picture of some really big golden ones (the shoe is size 10) to compare with that I picked home in Sweden.

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Gastronomy and microbiology

Two of my favourite this are food and microbes! Therefore I got really excited when I saw this article in NY Times. So many things that we eat and drink are dependent on microbes – cheese, beer, wine, bread, yoghurt, kimchi, sauerkraut… the list goes on! Earlier this year, Rob Dunn wrote a fun article-series for scientific american kind of on this theme. The first piece was called: A Sip for the Ancestors: The True Story of Civilization’s Stumbling Debt to Beer and Fungus.

Despite my love for both food and microbes I have not yet ventured so much into the field of combining the two (besides using yeast for baking bread). Since we moved to our little house, that has started to change… Last year David and I made our very first attempt at making wine and one year later… *drumroll* ta da! It actually turned out really nice. We were expecting something tasting equivalent of cough syrup, but instead it is a nice raspberry wine.

This was the goey raspberry mess we started with.

And here’s the end product – Raspberry wine!

Now the next step is to be self supplying in beer, and the first bottles are filled. Luckily, you don’t have to wait half as long for the beer to get ready for drinking :).

My food-garden

Already when I was a little kid I loved growing things in the garden. I had my own planterbox full of radishes and planted peas and carrots in my sandbox when I lost interrest in making sand cakes. Last year was the first time I lived somewhere I could plant my own garden, and even though it got started quite late in the spring (we moved in April) we managed to get a decent harvest of peas, beets, potatoes, onions a few tomatoes and a huge amount of green beans. We were harvesting buckets of beans every week from just this little small plot you can see in the picture below.

I saved and dried both peas and beans from last year’s harvest that I just poked into the ground today, but this year we’re going all in with the tomatoes since Kelowna is supposed to be a really good climate for them. I will update later about which kinds we’re growing, but as you can see in the pictures, they’re already growing 37 plants strong :). I started by planting the seeds in old paper egg cartons and made little greenhouses from plastic egg cartons that I placed them inside. When it was time to transfer them to larger pots I simply broke off pieces of the egg carton and covered up with soil in the new pot. Great cheap way to nurse your plants!

I grew the tomatoes in little greenhouses made from plastic and paper egg cartons

All the little baby tomatoes transplanted & hanging out in the sun.

Traveling food #2 – Boulder, CO, USA

This past week I was visiting a lab at the University of Colorado in Boulder and since there was no kitchen in the hotel where I stayed, I got to enjoy some of the local restaurants. Some of the food highlights were:

Pescado de Colorado skillet roasted blue corn masa crusted Colorado striped bass, Peruvian stuffed potato,  napa cabbage tomato slaw, adobo butter, mango chutney at the restaurant Aji.

A Funghi pizza with mozzarella di bufala-pecorino-porcini & roasted white mushrooms with garlic at Pizzeria Locale.

And last but not least – Seared Tilapia Tacos: house corn tortillas, tomatillo salsa, avocado crema, black bean refritos at Zolo grill.

Recipe rebus!

I just came across a web-page that seems like a little paradise for a food & art lover like myself. It’s called “They draw & cook” and is basicly an endless stream of graphic recipies, designed by artists from all over the world. Here’s an example by the artist Nate Padavick:

Now I just need to think of my own recipie to illustrate and submit to their collection.

Which one would you guys want to see illustrated?

Would you switch the bento-box for the “ento-box”?

These little roadside snacks are a fairly common sight in Thailand but something many people in Europe and north america are not necessarily tempted to eat. Some students at the Royal College of Art and Imperial College in London would like to change that though. They have come up with a more appetizing way to sell insects as food – the ento box!

I feel like it wasn’t that long ago since people were sceptic about eating raw fish, something that has become everyday food in society today. Maybe some ground up protein rich insects in sushi format will be the next big thing?

Read more about the project on this blog or the homepage of the inventors of the Ento box.

Here’s an exaple from their homepage of what it could look like:

Science of recipes

Anyone ever wondered why people from different parts of the world like to eat different things? Or why some ingredients go better together in a recipe?

A new article in Nature suggests that there is a network between culinary ingredients based on how many  flavor compounds they have in common. It also concludes that the western cuisine tends to use ingredients with many flavor compounds in common while the asian cuisine does the opposite!

As the science nerd I am, I couldn’t help myself from sneaking a gorgeous figure of the flavor network from the article into the blog: 

Source: http://www.nature.com/srep/2011/111215/srep00196/full/srep00196.html#auth-4

Credits to Yong-Yeol Ahn, Sebastian E. Ahnert, James P. Bagrow & Albert-László Barabási