Posted by: njbrown | February 23, 2010

Mushrooms (and Lynn Crawford)

February 23, 2010

After watching Bob Blumer learn to flute mushrooms, I bought a few to continue practicing.  The very nice man in the mushroom section of the grocery store wanted to help me, but clearly had never heard of a fluted mushroom.  I didn’t start by saying I wanted to practice fluting, but he was suspicious of the small number of mushrooms I was putting in my bag.  “What are you going to make?” he asked.  I was on the spot.  Reluctantly  I replied that I was just getting some mushrooms to practice fluting.  “Blooming mushrooms? You mean like blooming onions?”  “No,” I responded (starting to grit my teeth – there are some times when you don’t want help in the produce section) – it’s a way of cutting mushrooms for decoration.  (I could tell we had a communication gap, but that I wasn’t going to be able to solve it.)  Leaving him still looking bewildered, I made a hasty exit and vowed to always buy a large enough quantity of mushrooms so I’ll not be questioned.

This week on her new show, “Pitchin’ In,” Lynn Crawford, a Canadian chef who is quite talented and seems to be a very nice person was mushroom picking in the Oregon forest and then going to a mushroom farm where very exotic varieties are grown.  Once again, poor Lynn was in an environment that was literally nauseating.  Someone needs to tell the heads of programming at Food Network that people who like beautiful food don’t enjoy watching people vomit.  Lynn has vomited in at least two programs (when she had to deal with rotting lobster bait, when she was cleaning out the pig-pen) and she was gagging in this one.  I once had the dubious pleasure of making a business visit to a local mushroom grower.  The smell will never rival Chanel #5!  I know very little about the varieties of mushroom, so it was quite comforting to see Lynn fail the blindfolded mushroom identification test given by the wife of the mushroom farmer.  An interesting fact was that Matsutake mushrooms last year sold for $2,000/lb. (according to the mushroom picker).

To use up my fluted mushrooms, I did a spinach, mushroom and bleu cheese tart made with puff pastry.  It was reminiscent of Julia’s recipe from the Spinach Twins French Chef show that is available on PBS.




  1. Enjoyed your show about wild mushroms in Oregon. I live in B.C. and my husband and I are avid mushrooms pickers. I would like the name of the farm so we can go and visit.

    Enjoying al l your escapades on the food shows.


  2. Love reading this blog, I usually find out random new stuff.
    Emily R. from Husky Guide

    • Thank you, Emily. You are so kind!


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