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Showing posts from February, 2007

Homemade Mushroom Soup

The Recipe: For anyone who's only tasted canned mushroom soup before, this recipe for homemade mushroom soup will be a revelation.The Conversation: An introduction to St. Louis' very own "mushroom lady" and her company, Ozark Forest.
Missouri’s Bootheel and the country of Japan share a mycological treasure, climates, water and timber perfect for cultivating mushrooms. Leave it to a clever Englishwoman to figure that out.Nicola Macpherson is St. Louis’ very own "mushroom lady". Her company, Ozark Forest, grows shiitake and oyster mushrooms year-round on a family farm using renewable, sustainable and organic agro-forestry practices.Whew. Yeah, that's a mouthful. How does she do that, really, in laymushroom terms?First, specially harvested oak limbs are inoculated with mushroom spawn. Then they're left alone to incubate for six to nine months. Come spring, the spawn are soaked in water for 24 hours. Then comes the real magic. After a few days? The mushr…

On-the-Run Breakfast Bars

The Recipe: Low-sugar oat bars studded with bacon and cheese, the Kellogg rendition of an old-old recipe from Quaker Oats called "Breakfast Takealongs". Are you here to learn about the old Finnish custom of planting grass in plates and bowls during Lent? That's story's been moved, please see Lenten Grass, it's such a good way to mark the season of Lent with children. Has anyone checked out the energy bar shelves at the grocery store? Whoa, they go on and on and on! And don't even talk to me about energy drinks. All this energy and we're still couch potatoes?Breakfast Bars were my mom's answer to energy bars back when I was in high school – maybe before. They're simple oat bars, studded with bacon bits and grated cheese. I remember loving these bars and when my family published a family cookback with family recipes way back in 2002, Breakfast Bars were one of my contributions. RECIPE HISTORY Since then, I've learned that what we call Breakfast B…

Observing Lent with Children: Lenten Grass

Lenten grass is an old Finnish tradition and a lovely way to mark the season of Lent with children. If you're looking for ideas for observing Lent, planting grass is easy to do, fun for the whole family.
For adult observers, the Christian season of Lent is often a time of quiet contemplation. For kids, however, Lent seems little more than preamble to Easter’s bonnets and bunnies and baskets.To help children observe Lent, consider adopting the old Finnish custom of planting grass seed in small dishes on Ash Wednesday. For children, it is fun to plant and carefully tend the seeds. Soon delicate blades burst forth from the earth, stretching toward the light. With good care, the grass will grow thick and strong and lush, symbolizing the resurrection and the certainty of spring.Here's how to mark the Lenten Season with Lenten Grass. It's easy, it's fun! Consider starting several trays and giving them to family and friends. Plant the seeds for Lenten Grass on Ash Wednesday. B…