Just life. 2020 & Marvelous Mushrooms

      Folks, I have to say I don't a lot to say right now, I am in the middle of an extremely long week with work and trying to get some financial things taken care of that are getting frustrating with folks who have information just not reading what is in front of them. My son, bless his heart is actually helping me to put things into perspective, as he and his wife returned from a New Year vacation in France, they got back to their home, but their luggage did not. So as he said, frustrating yes, but what is getting all worked up about it going to do. Just, one step at a time, and work to resolve the issues to clear the way for putting myself in a better situation. I don't want to be house rich and pocket poor. But when overruns happen, and the weeks turn into months, not on flamboyant items, but necessity, it happens, and anyone here on the Cape who has done a semi-major remodels knows this. Cape housing useless a new build is going to have issues. We live on a sand pile surrounded by water, what do we think or expect. So things are going to happen, and when your house is literally one of the last to be built in the sub-division, well, you get it. The only thing I can say is if I ever do sell the next owner is going to have one heck of a sturdy, safe and updated house, I love it when even the inspectors are impressed with the work of my contractors. So with all that, I am looking forward to a quieter weekend, ok after I work a 1/2 day and the warmer weather, and just getting out I hope to enjoy this great and wonderful place, old Cape Cod that we call home, even if there are a few shower around. Keep smiling and keep looking up for all your answers to life and living, and just be careful not to step in the dog poop at the edge of the road and your front yard. Remember it takes a lot of fertilizer for a green spring. Talk to you later.   

      This week's small business report comes from my visit to the Pop-up market at Cape Cod Beer this past Saturday, Since many of you I know did not make it, I know many of you would like and especially since they are a local business. The first place is called Stefania's Spark Sugar Scrubs. You can find her on facebook under StefaniasSpark and look all around. Oh did I mention the owner is a 12 year old young lady, with a little bit of Moms help, but it is her business. If you are a person who loves sugars scrubs this is the place, at this time I think I counted 15 scents she has available. So check her out, and watch for where she will be and go support a local young entrepreneur. 
      Next up is another local designer Snowflake Designs found on facebook at SnowflakeDesigns02562. If you are a camper, know a camper, always wanted to be a camper but didn't know how to get started (you can start here), these are the folks for you. They have signs, onesies, bibs, mugs, they have campin' signs, Mom plaques, Dad/Man Cave signs, and the list goes on. these are small, not overpriced and would make a great gift or something just funny yet cool to hang in a place that needs a little brighting up. So check them out, they also keep their events page updated so you know where to find them. 
      Good grubs this week, I have to say I did not make it out of the house, to any local establishment. I have been working from 6:30am till some nights well after 7pm. So I have been feasting out of my own grub hub, call the refrigerator. So my apologies for nothing new, you know my favorites by now, Red Nun, Grumpy's, Keltic Kitchen, Ninety-Nine, Jasons Tavern, Scargo Cafe. One place that also you can find at the Cape Cod Beer Pop-up is the Underground Bakery, their main location is right off Rt 6A in Dennis behind the post office, in the basement. They are open for breakfast on or 6 am - 5 pm. except Sunday and only 6-Noon. Coffee, baked goods, sandwiches, Soups, stew, chowders and chilies. They are more of a get and go, but they do have a few tables to site and munch a bunch and have a conversation with someone, with some great coffee or tea. So check em all out.   
      So I hope you all made it through the new year happenings without much trouble, I guess that the fact you are here with me could mean one of two things, you struck out really bad so you want to hang with someone that make you feel so much better about yourself or you have so much time on your hands you just don't know what else to do but keep an eye on the old man. So what do we have to talk about this round, the waters are quiet, the weather is not much to write home about (mind you I am not complaining one bit on this one, sure the temperature swings are a dit ridiculous with near 60 degree notes expected this weekend. But no major snow events, no major Nor'Easters, no frozen Bays or Sounds, a few high winds and some rain here and there, but that is it. Hey, we are about 1/4 of the way through January, I love it, Cape Cod winters like the old days, and I even thing I saw a few golfers out the other day when I was driving by one of our local courses. I will say I saw a few owl the other day around dusk so I am not sure exactly what kind they were.We also have a pair of Hoot or Barred Owls around. In the evenings we can go up in the tower and go out on the cat walk and listen them talk back and forth with each other. We have also seen quite a fair share of Coyotes as well. It seems that the rabbit population has increased this last year and thus, as the seals are to the sharks so are rabbits to coyotes, a built in eco-buffet of goodness. And as they say it is the survival of the fittest. Speaking of sharks, I think it is safe to go in the waters now, as most of them have taken off south of the New England boarders for warmer waters. So if any of your are those winter type surfers and kite surfers come on out, although the waves have not been the absolute greatest. Rather tame out there so not a lot of big surf happening right now. As we all know we had our last weekend of lights and festivities and what a time. We ended up with an outstanding year, more than I actually thought. At the beginning of December with it being such a short season I wondered how it would go. But we were about 7-8 percent up from the year before so that is good. Tells me there is still room to grow and people are still willing to come and help. We will all take a break from any festivities for a while and East is not till April 12 so it is nether early or late and we will have something around that time and I am sure there will be early sunrise services up and down the beaches. So keep that in mind going forward. Our facilities are not open right now for the winter months other than to scheduled tour appointments and for the school kids. But as always the grounds are open with the observation deck being wide open this time of year. The paths and trails are still open and there is still a lot of wild life o be seen. And you can still catch a freighter ship or two passing the Cape heading both north and south.So there are still things to see and do, even though the station and tower are not open. I thing we are shooting for around mid-April to first of May to open up on the weekends, then go full open Memorial Day weekends. Well this is about it for this second report in January, Hope you were not too board and pray you stay well and healthy. Get our there and enjoy what we have with nature or wherever you are at. And until we meet again have a great and wonderful especially if you can do it right here on old Cape Cod. 
      Well hi-de-ho and a shake-n-bake New Year's to you and yours. I hope you did not miss last weeks start with fun with cocktail week. If you did you will have to go back and check it out, but a little tip, In going back don't Rum over it, or you will miss it. Ha, Ha. Anyway, oh with week two of the month and the side dish week. This year we are going to try to stay with in season, seasonal vegetable dishes, looking for something that is in season around the month I am posting in. Now we do have a few things that will come into place twice in a year, but I will do most only once as not to repeat myself. We have enough recipes and veggies to go around the whole 52 weeks without repeating. The hardest of seasons though is this very first, winter, but I have found what they consider in season and we will start with those wonderful things we call fungus amongus, of the incredible edible delicious mushrooms. Can you tell I am one who loves shrooms? If they are edible, I will try them, use them in all kinds of things and find new ways to use old standards. My thing with mushroom recipes is, unless it is calling for a very specific kind of mushroom, experiment with different kinds. Try them in different recipes and just go for it, each has a different flavor and texture so if you don't like one try another, especially you texture freaks. (I mean that in all love, you know who you are.) Now a couple things to remember, do not, let me repeat that DO NOT run fresh mushrooms or any kind under water, they are like sponges and soak up water and can get rubbery. Now if a recipe is calling to put them in broth, thats cool cause it will take on the flavor of some of the broth you are soaking in. Dried mushrooms are a who different ball game with water, read, instructions or hits on what you need to do to rehydrate and use. They are particularly great in soups, stews and chowders, so don't be afraid of them and you don't need to go nuts in buying large amounts at a time. When fresh, use a mushroom brush or a paper towel and brush off any dirt that may be them, look at the stems and trim off the dried part. Depending on what kind you are using and what recipe, if you "pop" the stems out or not, or if you will scrap the gills out, some it is better to do that and others if you are just sautéing that does not matter. So just read, read, read your recipe instructions to see what they suggest first. So with all that, let's get this ball rolling and go for it, as my mouth is already watering, as I sit here eating my marinated mushrooms, yum. 
      
      This week's recipe: Marvelous Mushrooms
     
      1      pd        fresh mushrooms (free to be creative here)
   1/3      cup      soft butter
      1      Tbls     parsley, minced
      1      Tbls     onion, minced
      1      Tbls     Dijon mustard
      1      tsp       salt
      1      pinch   cayenne
      1      pinch   nutmeg
1 1/2      Tbls     flour
      1      cup      heavy cream
 
      Clean mushrooms, (do not wash under water) and cut in half or quarters depending how large they are and put in a 1-qt casserole baking dish, and set aside. Cream together butter, parsley, onion, mustard, salt, cayenne, nutmeg, and flour. Pour mixture over mushrooms in the baking casserole dish. Dot with butter and pour on heavy cream. Bake uncovered in a 375 degree pre-heated oven for 1 hour. Stir gently once or twice during baking. 
 
      Remember all recipes are "discovered" through church potluck cookbooks, social group spiral bound cookbooks, and other stew pot type cookbooks. all are at least 20 if not 30 or more years old. If I ever take from an actual book I will give specific credit, but I have not done that for years. Or if is truly one of my own creations I will make specific note that the recipe is my own creation. Just don't want anyone thinking I am not giving credit where credit is due. Most of those old recipes that grandma wrote down came from a newspaper someplace or the bake of a box. So I am just make the blanket statement and let it go from there. Hope that clears up any questions where I get my recipes from. Happy cooking. 
 
 

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