Saturday, January 28, 2012

Mushrooms and A Grandma Hotline

So I went to the grocery store this week. This is not an unusual occurrence now that it is winter, but what made it rather noteworthy was that I decided to peruse the meat section. I don't buy meat at the grocery story any more. I pretty much buy all my meat at the Market now, but I guess I was just curious to see what they had on offer. After scanning shelves upon shelves of chicken breast and pork loin, ground beef and steaks, I finally came to a tiny section with what I suppose most people would consider the 'unwanted' cuts of meat - the tongue, the liver and the heart. I decided to buy a heart. It's in the freezer now, waiting until the day when I'm brave enough to attempt to make it into a delicious dining experience. If anyone has suggestions as to how to cook beef heart such that it is enjoyable, please do share.

Today I went to the Charlottetown Farmer's Market in hopes that the new Mushroom Man would be back with his portobellos this week. I was delighted to see he was there with his white wares. I asked for a pound of mushrooms and was informed that instead of the usual $3.75, he was only asking $2.50 per lb this week, since he'd picked the shrooms on Tues/Wed, instead of Thurs/Fri. What a bargain! I have since learned that this Mushroom Man is pretty new to PEI and had a successful mushroom business when he lived in the UK. He has set up 10 greenhouses here and is planning a crop that will result in 20,000 lbs of mushrooms being harvested each week. That's A LOT of mushrooms.

This afternoon I was making Irish Soda Bread and using a recipe my mom had given me. It called for a pinch of cardamom (sp?) for flavoring, but I didn't have any of this spice. I was thinking about using Rosemary instead, but thought it best to call Mom and see if this was a decent substitute. It occurred to me after we'd had our conversation (she said rosemary would be fine, but I didn't even have to flavour it) that not everyone is so lucky to have a mother or grandmother or father for that matter that they can call up any time they are in the kitchen and have a cooking question. I am one of the fortunate of my generation who grew up with a Mom that cooked meals from scratch and had her daughters learn their way around the kitchen before they left home. FOr all those that are not as fortunate, I can understand how they'd find the idea of cooking to be overwhelming. Wouldn't it be fantastic if there was some sort of hotline you could call any time you had a cooking question and some lovely old lady who has 40 years of cooking experience would answer the phone and help you find your way around the kitchen?

Ta da. My post for the week. I am super tired, my contacts are bothering me and it's 2am, but darn it, I am keeping to my self-induced 'post once a week' rule.


Rob said...

Rent a Granny? I think this could work S - Lot's of women who have lots of skills who want to help mmm

Shannon Courtney said...

OOooh and the bread was for a potluck -would never make it for myself!! But it went over pretty well :)

raymond said...

I think the best way to prepare a wonderful beef heart is to stuff it with a bread, onion,herb stuffing, I have prepared hearts for stuffing many times and you just need to trim out any tendens and extra fat on the outside and put some salt, pepper etc inside and stuff it and then use some skewers to close it and cook in the oven for about 2 hours at about 350 yum yum yum

Shannon Courtney said...

Mmmmmm...sounds mighty delicious, thanks Raymond! Next time I will come to you for heart (I feel guilty for getting it at the grocery store, it was just an impulse buy!)