By William Board #1
Most 76 year old’s who live in their friends backyard in an old school bus, don’t start off thinking things will go that way. Really, life couldn’t be better. The fishing is good on Mink Lake; the wild greens (and what I can steal from Sacha’s garden) are plentiful, and the mushroom hunting is amazing (not to mention the shiitake logs I poach from the BullyGoth)… And what kind of name is BullyGoth? This tenuous explanation involving an old cat just doesn’t make sense to me. Any way, I digress. I should make it quick, the wifi’s touchy out here in this School bus I’ve affectionately named Mr. Sutton.
Although it is winter now, I still cook most of my food on the camp fire out side and on the wood stove in Mr. Sutton. Sacha doesn’t like me in the house but once a week or so; due to my culinary skills she lets me come in and cook dinner for her and Jim from time to time. Jimmy Seeks me out more often. I’m like an oracle of some sort to him. We drink home-brew wine, play a few tunes and carry on. He’s fine company and keeps me from becoming a complete hermit.
I love cooking, especially in the open air. Though my means may look primitive, you’ll find the poof is in the pudding. All you really need is a good knife, cutting board, and a couple of cast-iron fry pans. In the spring I start off with a wild sorrel and chick weed salad and follow that up with some deer meat (venison) whatever you what to call it; maybe some lake fish, I’m not fussy on what kind. I always make a gravy with whatever kind of herbs I can poach from Sacha’s garden. Follow that up with some chapati or railway biscuit, and really boys and girls you got yourself something. The Queen of England herself or Mrs. Obama could dine at my table and leave feeling like their very own mothers had just fed them. That is basically the long and short of my cooking abilities.
So, let’s take the BullyGoth Cream of Mushroom Soup Blend. Well I can boast that I sat and drank Jimmy’s wine while he and Sacha honed the recipe. I just kept saying “no, no” until they got it right. Without me, it just wouldn’t be so delicious. A lavish amount of dried shitake, portobello, button, and oyster mushrooms combined with BullyGoth herb blend (a perfect mix of sage, lemon balm, parsley, thyme, and chives) all in a nifty pack.
All you have to do is pour the pack of mushrooms and herbs in 2 cups of hot beef, chicken, or vegetable broth. Put that aside for 20 minutes while you start the rue.
Take 1/4 cup butter or oil, 4tbsp flour, and one medium onion. You may want to fry the onion a while before you add the flour, it depends how you like it. Don’t over-cook the rue, it’s cream of mushroom soup, not jambalaya.
Once the rue is cooked (about 3 minutes on medium heat), add 4 cups of milk, 1 tsp. salt (or more if that’s how you like it and the doctors haven’t gotten to you yet). Add the bouillon, herbs and mushrooms you had set aside, then simmer that on low heat just under a boil for 15 minutes. You don’t want to boil it hard, it might scald the milk.
Voila! Eat it up with biscuit, corn bread, or serve it as an opener to a big dinner. I like it for lunch with crackers.
Any way, I’ll keep this blog going until I get kicked out. But it’s hard kicking some poor old hippie out of a school bus in mid-winter.