Entries in thanksgiving (3)


where the wild things are. the blue pearl.


One afternoon, a couple years ago, around a tiny fire outside their farmhouse in Southern Vermont, Les Hook and Nova Kim cooked up some wild mushrooms we had gathered that morning nearby. In a  large cast iron pan, they seasoned them with nothing more than a little butter or olive oil and some salt and pepper. It had just begun to snow steadily when we set out to gather. Large fat flakes  floated around us amd landed on our eyelashes.Les pulled over in his red Subaru, flashers glowing in the wild flurry of white. He deftly put up a twenty-foot ladder against a slippery maple tree and quickly climbed up. He pulled of the biggest Blue Pearl Oyster Mushrooms I have ever seen off that tree. We drove back to their place and lit the fire. It was then that Nova told us about her non-turkey, perfect for vegetarians on turkey day or for any feast any time of the year for that matter. You must start with a large fan of a mushroom, as you can see from the photo it kind of sweetly resembles a turkey's tail! Though I have roasted many a mushroom from them, it took me two years to get to this post. I asked Nova to save me a large Blue Pearl that I would pick up from the New Amsterdam Market. Luckily my snail mail reached her in time and I was able to get a beauty from them the Saturday before Thanksgiving. I kept in a paper bag on my fire escape until cooking day. Now I know I have sung their praises before but people, if you have not been to the market on a day when they are there then you are SERIOUSLY missing out. If you are interested in finding out when The Vermont Wild Food Gatherer's Guild will be in town go to The New Amsterdam Market website and check the vendor and calendar listings! They always have something special and if you have never been to the market then what are you waiting for? It is every Sunday from 11-4pm.

Back to the mushrooms...

The mushroom I got from Les and Nova was held together by a stretch of bark. I left the piece of bark on the mushroom while I roasted it.

I brushed the mushroom with a generous amount of olive oil and sprinkled it with French sea salt cracked black pepper and thyme.

I put in my largest Cast iron pan...this was a BIG mushroom 14 inches across at least. I threw it in the oven at 350 degrees for a slow roast and when it started to brown at the edges I put about a 1/4 cup of water in the pan and covered it with tin foil to add a little more moisture. Mushrooms are essentially like sponges so they soak up all that moisture. I may not have needed to do this if I had roasted it right away but since I had waited a few days I thought it might help to add the additional moisture.. I took the tin foil off for the last five minutes or so of cooking. I can't give you a specific cooking time because it depends on how big or small the mushrooms are that you are roasting. So use your intuition. You want it to be moist and almost meaty when you slice it.

We loved this so much that we could almost forego the turkey next year and just eat this!

It was really good with gravy... 


Thank you Nova for this brilliant idea!



Roasted Wild Blue Pearl Mushroom Tail

Set your oven to 350 degrees 


1 large Blue Pearl Mushroom fan approx 12-14 inches in length

1/4- 1/2 cup olive oil brushed and drizzled on the mushroom

Seas salt to taste

Cracked black pepper to taste

Sprigs of Fresh Thyme

Gently brush any dirt or debris off the mushroom with a small mushroom brush or a small pastry brush

Place the mushroom upright in a large roasting pan or cast iron skillet

Brush and drizzle with olive oil. Mushrooms really soak it up so be generous with your application.

Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked black pepper

Add some fresh thyme leaves and a sprig or two for looks


Place in the preheated oven and roast for 15-20 minutes depending on the size of our mushroom.

Put about a 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water in the pan and cover with tin foil

When the water is all evaporated the mushroom will be done. 

Uncover for the last five minutes or so.

The mushroom should be moist and easy to slice along the grain.


Cooking time really depends on the mushroom size so keep and eye on it!@ You don’t want it to be too tough!!!


As always, a word of caution where wild mushrooms are concerned. Leave the gathering to an expert!!











thanksgiving. a few moments.

Now that the dust has settled and the soup is on the stove, I have a few moments to share some photos from the past couple days. Thanksgiving was spent rather spontaneously with our good friends Helen and Benoit and family as neither of our families had made a concrete plan as of Wednesday morning.  So, while I was at the Greenmarket, I spoke to Helen and we decided to join forces and do it at our place in the city. The reason we were ambivalent in the first place is that the kids protested so much about going upstate and to be totally honest we were a little beat from work  and somewhat incapable of making a decision. They wore us down. The city won and I have to say it was nice not to travel. 

  We had a lovely Thanksgiving despite our initial ambivalence. The day started at 2 and ended at midnight after a long meal, dessert and a walk to visit friends and more dessert and cheese and bubbly. All was perfectly as it should be, except for my insanity of trying to cook Thanksgiving and shoot at the same time.

Below are few highlights from dinner. 

I am not posting any recipes here just yet. I will get on it soon.


It goes without saying that we all have a lot to be thankful for this year. I can not get my mind off all those that have lost homes or family. It will be important in the next few months to keep on with the volunteer work and donations to those in need.





Vermont Heritage Turkey with Wild Mushroom and Pecorino Stuffing

Cast iron Brussel Sprouts with Pan Fried Procuitto

Roasted Radishes with Juniper Sea Salt

Roasted Jerusalem Artichokes

Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

Roasted Blue Pearl mushrooms with Olive Oil and Thyme

Butter Leaf Lettuces with a Concord Grape Shrub Vinagrette

Dragon Carrot Puree

Heirloom Cranberry with Maple And Shaved Ginger

Blushing Apple Pie

Pumpkin Pie




Objet for the table.

The basics.



The cheese course.



For the Blushing Apple Pie.



Heirloom Cranberry With Maple And Ginger. 


Cast iron Brussel sprouts with pancetta.


The bird. From Vermont's Tamarack Hollow Farm .


 The bird. From Vermont's Tamarack Hollow Farm 




What remains. But not for long.





Another Thanksgiving has come and gone. It was a nice one, kind of quiet.  I love cooking at my Dad’s because he has a plethora of beautiful things that inspire chopping, mincing, stuffing and eating. Everywhere I turn there are beautiful eclectic collections of dishes and bowls and strange and unusual objects. An antique taxidermy falcon lives next to a wooden swan and a bowl full of misshapen eggs. He is antique dealer and like me with my honey, a bit of a hoarder. I know it is not nice to covet, but covet I did for many years his beautiful French Sabatier knives. I remember when he bought them. It was the late 1970’s and they were very fancy as far as knives go. Over the years after much use they have come to be replaced by newer and shiner non-carbon steel knives, smaller knives, but they always remained in their place. So this weekend when he gave them to me I nearly fainted, as I never imagine him parting with them. I suddenly feel very grown up.


One of the greatest things about my father is that he simply indulges whatever current object obsession I might have and right now I have a bit of a knife one. He has seen many obsessions come and go. As an antique dealer and a purist, he has of course raised an eyebrow at some of my choices over the years, which I was always able to defend with “It’s a prop. I can use it in a photograph.”  This past weekend I went in search of copper pots. I always find it is best to have one thing in mind when looking.

In New Hampshire a giant copper pot suitable for the kitchen in Oliver Twist suddenly appeared in the junkiest of shops. I justified my need for this giant cauldron by telling  my father “everyone needs a big stockpot and just think... if we had had it yesterday we could have made the turkey soup in it and the patina is SO nice!”


He took the pot from me, and did not tell me I was insane. Instead, he walked to the counter and battled the antique maiden and got that pot for a price lower than I could ever imagine and it was awesome.



  Vintage Sabatier....