Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Lockdown lunch

Once a week I cook something that the Frenchman and I can share, sitting at the kitchen counter (which is where I write) in the middle of our work days.

And for as long as he has to work from home, we call it lockdown. How the seasons have changed. Pre-spring is late summer. And here we are.

I seem fated to discover the best mushrooms only when I have left the house in sweats and running shoes, bound for exercise only - a nearby hill in Prospect Park, where I run up, and down, up and down. Basketless, bagless, knifeless, as a forager I am unarmed. It's happened twice in the last eight days. (Last week it was chanterelles, incredibly. In Brooklyn!). 

Yesterday's discovery was a beautiful chicken of the woods, growing on a street oak, and still at the first, elusive and moist nubbin stage, before its chubby curves have fanned out into impressively huge but dry shelves. On my way back from the hill, I scooped it up and carried it home.

Today it became part of the topping for our weekly lunch: steamed eggs. Just eggs and cream (although sometimes milk, and sometimes hot water, depending on the texture I want), poured into bowls and steamed for 7 minutes. Very smooth, and purposefully bland. The seasoning today was all in the topping. Some of the mushroom, slowly caramelized in the juices of an overripe heirloom tomato, a dash of strong, dark tamari, and a final slivering of a soy-pickled shiso leaf from the terrace. 

Eaten in two minutes. 



  1. Gardeners we Love? Two whole pages in BH&G? Congratulations! Nice article. Please tell me they gave you the original of the illustration ... it's so good. Proud of, and happy for, you!!

    1. Hi Win - thank you! I hadn't realized that edition was out.


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