Tuesday, January 07, 2014

My Marinated Mushrooms - Yum!

 It seems that every year, toward the end of December, mushrooms go on big-time sale!  I know this so during the month I start saving extra pickle and spaghetti sauce jars.  I always have a few on hand for left-overs - I like to SEE what my left-overs are.  Also, I use the wide-mouth pickle jars to pre-package mixed salads.  But along toward the end of December I need extra jars for marinated mushrooms!
Here is a photo of a small batch - makes 3 smaller spaghetti sauce jars.  The largest mushrooms are removed for later use (keep reading).  The others (I like a mix of white and brown) are simmered (not boiled) for 5-7 minutes.  The mushrooms will shrink a little bit when you cook them.  Rinse in cold water.  Put equal parts olive oil and red wine vinegar (I use about 3/4 cup of each for 2 packages of mushrooms) back in the pan you used to boil (it will still be warm) and add 1 tsp. sugar, 2 tsp. sale, 1 TBS mixed herbs (I use a blend) and stir it up.  Then add some chopped garlic, chopped red onion and sliced red peppers.  Add the mushrooms.  Put the cover on the pan and every hour or so give it a stir.  You can actually eat them after about 3 hours, but I find they get tastier (and the garlic less sharp) after at least a day.

After 1/2 a day, bottle in the jars and put in the fridge.  Best to spoon out what you want ahead of time and set on the counter for a bit before eating, but do keep them in the fridge. I can't really tell you how long they keep for because we always eat them within about 10 days.  I like the smaller jars for gift-giving when I go visit a friend.  However, a friend who was here last week for dinner refused a jar - she wants me to teach her how to make them!  Which is what lead me to write this blog post.  Sometimes things that we take for granted that people will know how to make - they don't!  I remember my frustration in my young-twenties when I wanted to make stuffed eggs and no recipe ever explained to me HOW to get a hard-boiled egg in the first place.  I had to call my Nana (long-distance, gasp!) to get directions.  Poor Nana - she was a chicken farmer and couldn't believe I didn't know how to boil an egg!  That Christmas she bought me one of my all-time favorite cookbooks - all illustrated with step-by-step instructions, bless her!
Seriously, I am busy every day and often take photos and then... don't write a blog post.  Sometimes I think - who is going to think a post about marinating mushrooms is interesting, but it is a part of my life that I enjoy.  I enjoy sharing a nice meal with friends/family and good food.  I enjoy that I can see a sale item and think of a great recipe to use.  I love my home life and try to make my home a happy place, even on a budget.  My friends enjoy my "food gifts".  And I know I am not the only person who feels this way - so even if ONE blog reader tries this recipe and gets some joy out of it (even if you never let me know), then I am happy!  I am trying to be better about blogging my everyday life.  Well - at least until school starts again in a few weeks and then I am sure I will be right out- straight busy!
Anyway!  What to do with those BIG mushrooms you picked out in the first place?  Slice and sautee with butter, red onions and garlic and a pinch of herbs/salt and serve with dinner.  We had meat fondu (pork, turkey and beef) this night and the sauteed mushrooms went so well with it!
We eat our large meal mid-day.  In the evenings, we like healthy snacks.  This was one of our snacks last week... a mixture of tomatoes, avocado, feta cheese and marinated mushrooms served with very thinly sliced black bread (we buy whole loaves and slice our own with the bread/meat slicer for very thin pieces).  I think we also had sliced pears and clementine oranges, but no photo!

 So go ahead - make some marinated mushrooms.  They are so very yummy!  Oh - and I love, love my flat bottomed pan.  I have great (old) pans.  My DH has requested a certain type of small pan with a cover and my son and I have been scouring the antique/used shops for one - I find that the old pans are very heavy (they take longer to heat up, but then hold the heat).  Heavy pans makes it much harder to burn the food - because once the pan is heated up it will hold that heat so you can turn the heat down so your food it less likely to burn.

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