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Posts Tagged ‘morel mushrooms’

Alice–our mushroom supplier earlier this week–just arrived with a hive full of displaced bees.

“You’d better stay inside, Robin, you might get stung!”

I’m happy to continue having my honey-free breakfast in the kitchen.

Meredith and Alice, dressed in their protective costumes, carry the box of bees out to the end of the garden.

!

Alice seems confident they will be happy in their new setting–and she is often right about things.

Yesterday she’d brought round another bag of morel mushrooms–‘miffed’ perhaps that I had not followed her advice about using creme fraiche in the cooking of the first lot. (I didn’t have any.)

“Has he bought creme fraiche?” she asked. Meredith nodded in the affirmative.”Eh voila!” and left the second bag for supper last night. She was right–they taste good with a tablespoon of cream amd a twist of fresh ground black pepper added to the pan.

morels with cream

She thinks the field across the road will be a rich source of nectar for them this year, with much buzzing contentment.

“The fascinating process of making honey begins when the bees feast on flowers, collecting the flower nectar in their mouths. This nectar then mixes with special enzymes in the bees’ saliva, an alchemical process that turns it into honey. The bees carry the honey back to the hive where they deposit it into the cells of the hive’s walls. The fluttering of their wings provides the necessary ventilation to reduce the moisture’s content making it ready for consumption.”*

Happy bees would be better than discontented bees when I’m working in the tomato patch close by, in a month or two.

The danger zone?

“The vexed question”

Honey promoting web sites are keen to be positive about the vexed question of honey and diabetes, pointing out that it is a better option than sugar and sugar substitutes.

Because honey is generally thought to be health promoting, a little everyday is a good idea–even for people with diabetes, they argue.

* more than you need to know perhaps about HONEY–but useful nonetheless.

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Meredith has been out with with our neighbour Alice, in search of a beehive that Alice had promised to lend her.

As they come into the kitchen, Meredith says “Look , Robin, Alice has brought you something really special”.

Alice then comes into the kitchen clutching a paper bag. She handles it with such care that I’m convinced there’s a puppy dog inside it.

Thoughts tumble round my head:

We have seven cats inside and out;

Where will we keep it? Do I want a dog after all these years of doglessness!

Alice carefully puts the paperbag in my arms and I quickly realise it’s not a dog.

It is some wonderfully strange shaped mushrooms.

They look like dirty sponges on small white feet.

Alice says reverentially–“Ils sont des morilles”

“Ah oui?–Merci beaucoup Alice, c’est trés gentille.”

 

“Where did you find them” I ask her (in French).

“C’est un secret,” she replies, with a broad grin on her face.

She then tells me how she cooks them:

Sauté very gently in butter with chopped onions perhaps, then fold in some creme fraiche.

I ask about garlic.

“No garlic”–then, after a moment’s thought, she says you could add a little with some parsley in a persillade.

Morels along with cepes are the most sought after mushrooms she tells us, and are usually the first of the season.

Then she  says, rather surprisingly, that they don’t have a lot of taste–which accounts for the butter, cream and onions I suppose.

Anyway, it is a great honour to be given something so prized and we will have them tonight, on a piece of rye toast.

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