Thursday, November 01, 2007


SHIITAKE SOUP


Echo has been visiting her folks up north since Tuesday so I am here on my own for a few days, chainsawing and stacking sugi and hinoki in the wake of Azuma-san, working up a natural appetite by hefting trees and logs in the perfectly blue morning (interesting to manipulate logs bigger than I am), in the process also keeping monkeys away by my active presence.

Speaking of the sneaky simians, I have been alert for them because the shiitake are just now beginning to emerge, and are right at the dense meaty stage the hairy marauders love to steal most. I harvested a basketful the other day, after a good rain, thereby thwarting the simians from the very first (so far, Brady 100, Mangy Marauders ZERO). Today I went over to the shiitake corner to look closely again, and found a lot of fresh new shrooms curling into the dark on the undersides of the logs, so I took a bunch for lunch.

As to that, as to that (that phrase always reminds me of Sidney Greenstreet in The Maltese Falcon), for my organic lunch I sauteed in olive oil a chopped big clove of garlic together with a thinly sliced, de-seeded taka-no-tsume ('hawk's talon,' the standard Japanese hot red pepper), then added diced onions, then a couple of sliced, nitrate-free, highly flavored sausages, then some chopped green peppers, Roma tomatoes and sliced okra we got from an uplake neighbor, some diced acorn squash from the farm store, pre-cooked brown rice and cannelloni beans, then added the soup broth, with a dash of shikuwasa (a cuisinary miracle soon to be discovered by world chefs) and a high double handful of big shiitake sliced as thin as paper, then let it all simmer until the okra did that thing that okra does.

Then I had myself a couple bowls of lunch, smiling now and then at thought of the monkeys' red faces when they come and find their mushrooms missing.




3 comments:

Trace said...

My, that made my mouth water! Sounds like a delicious concoction. (sp?)
I always smile big when I hear your tales of the monkeys...glorious!
Around these parts, it's all about the deer, rabbits, and squirels--heh.

Mary Lou said...

Better watch out, You know how they like to get even! ;)

Bob Brady said...

They better not, I got a whole deck railing full of rocks.