07 February 2008

What's for Dinner

I recently learned to enjoy eating mushrooms. I've always liked the flavor of them—in soup broth or whatever—but I could never get over how they squish and squeak when you chew them. Recently something clicked, though, and I figured out how to eat them without grossing myself out. I have problems, I know.

So anyway, since this discovery we've been putting mushrooms in everything, including the super tasty pasta we made this evening with our very own pasta sauce.

The sauce was already loaded with onions, garlic, and herbs, and we threw it together with some mushrooms, butter, cheese, and cream. Yum.

We saved enough food that we can eat from-the-garden dinner three or four times a week for the rest of the winter, and eating pasta sauce that is far superior to what we can get at the store is a great motivator for putting away even more food next summer.

12 comments:

steven said...

I can't imagine life without a stash of homemade sauce on the shelves!

The initial costs involved in canning sauce can be steep, but after a couple of good harvests and never buying canned tomatoes the money you save can really add up.

jodi said...

Your sauce looks--and sounds--divine! Here it is past midnight and I suddenly have cravings for pasta and fresh sauce...

~mel said...

Sounds yummy! My husband bought me a pressure canner for Christmas so I will be able to can some things from the garden this year. Are a certain type of tomatoes better to use for pasta sauce? I plan to save some for pasta sauce and plenty for homemade salsa--we eat lots of that around here!

seeded said...

I'm going to try canning homemade pasta sauce this year. (No mushrooms, though...apparently I've got the same problems and haven't gotten past them.) Yours sounds wonderful.

Meg said...

Steven, my mom found us a bunch of unused canning supplies at some yard sales over the summer, so our trial run at least will be pretty cheap. We've been freezing most everything so far but canning is in our future, as we want more room in the freezer for other stuff.

Hi, Jodi! It tasted awesome, if I do say so myself. And, hey, there's nothing wring with a late night pasta snack ...

~Mel, very cool about the pressure canner! Kelly and I only have experience with the regular ol' big-pot-of-boiling-water method, but I've heard that a pressure canner makes the job a lot easier.

Pasta sauce is generally made with paste tomatoes, since they tend to have a lot less water content and result in less time cooking off the liquid. If I remember right, this year's batch of sauce is primarily Howard German and Roma tomatoes. San Marzanos are another really popular that I think we might try this year.

Meg said...

Hi, Jenny--we must have been posting at the same time. Definitely go for it with saving sauce this year. You'll thank yourself when you're months away from a fresh tomato and have a reasonable substitute around in the form of homemade sauce.

My problem with mushrooms was definitely a texture thing, and I'd tried to like them periodically with no success. I don't know what happened this last time, but I sure am glad about it. Mushrooms are gooood.

~mel said...

Thanks for the info on the tomatoes, Meg. I copied the names of the tomatoes down and will order some of the seeds. Can't wait to have my own sauce this time next year!

Meg said...

Oooh, lucky! We only had access to 200 sq ft to grow on this past year, so were only able to make 2 meals worth of homemade tomato sauce. I am envious. Thank goodness next year there will be more room to garden in, as I want to be eating home grown, home made sauce in February, too!

How do you eat mushrooms without being grossed out by the texture? What's the magic eating method? Seriously, I am curious. I have yet to figure it out, so I still can't stand eating them. It makes me shudder when they squeak like that...

Katie said...

Mushrooms for the win! I could live off these things. I bet you're going to go forage for them now that you like 'em, huh!

Meg said...

Mel, good luck! If you haven't gotten your seeds yet, check out Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds--they usually have a ton of varieties available.

(other) Meg, I always get momentarily weirded out when I see a comment from you because I think it's a comment from myself, except I can't remember when or why I posted it. Then, after a second, I realize what's going on. So sad.

Two batches of sauce from a little garden is pretty good! I don't remember if we got any sauce out of or first garden--we mostly just gobbled up the tomatoes as soon as they ripened, I think.

I wish I could pin down my mushroom secret and share it with the world, but alas, I don't know what made me get over the texture issue. I never used to be able to eat shrimp for the same reason.

Katie, yeah, I would love to do that! I was getting sooo hungry during that mushroom hunting part of Omnivore's Dilemma. mmmm.

#1 Dinosaur said...

If you've decided you like mushrooms, try this scrumptious recipe:

Mushroom Strudel

Of course, you can also try Sour Cream Mushroom Sauce, if you read that first recipe wrong (like I did.)

Meg said...

Hi, Dino Doc! That's funny--I read TBtAM and remember seeing the mushroom strudel post and then reading about your, uh, unintentionally interesting variation on it. Thanks for the reminder. Now that mushrooms are on the menu, I'm going to revisit those posts.