Friday, March 2, 2012

Food Bank Fresh #3

Because of a bout with flu, cooking has been on the back burner lately, and I kept my Food Bank foraging to a minimum this week.  However, I couldn't bear to see big bag of oyster mushrooms, deemed too dried out by a volunteer with more seniority and less fungi fanaticism, go to the pig bucket. So mushroom stock will be the base for the next Soup Night recipe. Oyster mushrooms are down the scale in the rich taste department, but I also scored a couple of aging portabellas and some other miscellany. 

Usually a mushroom donation includes some that are too far gone to distribute along with others that are still fresh and firm. We start a new container of the good ones and add to it as we sort until there's a meal's worth. You might get all standard grocery store shrooms; you might get a variety. I've even seen a few chanterelles head out to the distribution line and I hope they made someone's day.  Mushrooms are one exception to the "can't distribute if it's cut rule," but the presliced ones are generally too far gone anyway by the time they get to us. 

I also brought back a big, limp bunch of organic chard. I love chard and have picked away at my overwintered plants until there isn't much left. (They should make one more flurry of growth before they bolt.) Binda taught me to revive them by putting the whole bunch under water rather than just the stems in a glass. It works; I braised the chard and ate the entire bunch myself.  

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