Mushrooms (and a new product coming soon!)

Spring in the mountains means a quest for some – the quest for mushrooms. My husband went morel hunting the past two weeks and has found nothing. A big fat zero. Did his research; talked to folks who have been here for years. Nothing. Oh well. There is always next year.

I cheated. I ordered an oyster mushroom kit online. We followed the directions and within a couple weeks has beautiful oyster mushrooms. Less than we anticipated, but still had the experience of growing our own. As the little mushrooms popped their heads out from the growing medium, our mouths watered with anticipation as to how best to cook them. First, they appeared as small gray-topped mushrooms. Then as they grew RAPIDLY each day, they became a creamy white color and flattened out significantly.

This first picture is the bunch we picked off the growing medium. Huge!

harvested mushrooms

This second picture is what we did with them – sauteed in butter with diced sage. So magnificent! The taste was even more than we anticipated. The finishing touch was some Tuscan-style herb finishing salt. Truly set off the flavor.

oyster mushrooms - sage

And that is the “new product” hinted at in the subject line!! Laughing Rabbit Life is developing a kitchen line — Laughing Rabbit Kitchen (in case you didn’t already figure that out) — which will sell this Tuscan-style herb finishing salt. It is sublime on everything we have tried so far. We have used it on salad, veggies, steak, hamburger, mushrooms, fish, chicken, etc. And, with a nod to summer quickly approaching, we will also be offering basil salt for those garden or farmers market tomatoes. Would be great on a caprese salad with the fresh mozzarella and basil. I need to go each lunch; my mouth is watering just writing this. (We are also experimenting with infused sugars and will let you know when those are ready.)

Drop me a note and let me know what you all have been doing this spring. Would love to hear from you.

Thanks for reading, and remember…we all need a little laughter!

Pancakes

What a beautiful day it is here in the mountains! Spring has sprung on this 77 degree, sunny day. I lounged in the yard to the buzzing of bumblebees and the occasional flapping of our newest additions – two male ruby-throated hummingbirds – while also listening to a variety of birds singing their glorious songs. The lilacs are beginning to burst forth as the blossoms on the apple trees give way to rich, green leaves.

What does all of this have to do with my subject of pancakes? Absolutely nothing; it is just too beautiful outside not to write about it. (My apologies if your spring is too cold or too warm.)

Okay, on to pancakes. HoneyBee is a typical toddler – her culinary world consists of crackers, peanut butter, more crackers, and an occasional cheese stick. This is a toddler who doesn’t eat pasta, mac ‘n’ cheese, rice, etc. However, for some unknown reason, a couple weeks ago she decided she wanted pancakes for breakfast. While my husband and I were ecstatic that she wanted something new, pancakes wasn’t exactly what we had in mind. Oh well.

So, like all things new, I turned to an expert: Mrs. Butterworth. She did not disappoint. HoneyBee was very happy with her pancakes – and now wakes up asking for them each morning. How do I encourage this culinary foray without having to make pancakes every single morning?! A friend had a fantastic suggestion: make ahead and freeze. My response was, “Can you freeze pancakes?!” Then I remembered Eggo Waffles and Pancakes and all that.

I went to town making pancakes up ahead and freezing them. Hint: remember to put wax paper between them or otherwise you’ll have one big block of frozen pancakes on your hands, which the jaws-of-life couldn’t pry apart.

I pull one or two out of the freezer each morning, put on microwave-safe plate and defrost in the microwave approximately 45 seconds on each side. A little butter, a little pure maple syrup and HoneyBee is a happy camper.

Here are a couple pictures:
cooked pancakes

frozen pancakes

What have you found useful to freeze and then defrost for quick kitchen help? I would love to hear!

Thanks for reading and remember, we all need a little laughter!

Hello from Southwestern Virginia!

Hi! Once again, this blog has long been absent. And once again, my apologies. However, Laughing Rabbit Life is now coming to you from southwestern Virginia. So I have been busy finishing up my professional work and packing a house…and a toddler. My husband and I decided to simplify life for our family – more back to our roots, so to speak.

We have been here as a family for about four weeks. We absolutely love it! Our neighbors are great. We have felt very welcome.

With the coming of spring means spring chores. So last Saturday we worked our land. And by “land,” I mean our one acre. And by “worked,” I mean we mowed, pruned, picked up sticks, etc. There is, of course, the livestock to constantly move and feed – by this I mean our 3 1/2-year-old daughter, who we call HoneyBee on this site.

HoneyBee loves it here. She seems to be adjusting great. The other morning she was running around the yard in her jammies and boots, complete with plant spritz bottle in one hand and child-size rake in the other. And following closely behind was the neighbor’s dog who absolutely loves her.

I’m trying to teach HoneyBee that each we have to “walk the land.” This sounds very farm-ish to me and it feels like something we should do. However, at this point, since we don’t have a garden in yet, I feel more like Zeus and Apollo from Magnum, P.I. than anything else. Oh well…it will come. My daughter isn’t so impressed. After all there are balls to kick and plants to spritz. Oh, and Goldfish crackers to feed to the neighbor’s dog. But that’s our little secret.

So stayed tuned for our varied – and I’m sure entertaining – antics in our new adventure.

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