Everything’s Coming Up MushroomsSep 02, 2019
Photograph by Christine Moss
Stepping out of her kitchen (and comfort zone), Chef Moss embraces teaching, traveling and birthing a passion project
It’s hard to let go of summer and all of its daydreams. However, September ushers in a season of new beginnings and energy. I’ve always loved this month, but this year it is extra exciting for many reasons, three in particular: mushrooms, travel, passion project. Let me explain more.
First of all, cooking is organic to me. I see, feel and respond to what’s growing, what’s in season and geek out on all the science behind it — the how and whys. That’s why I’m beyond psyched to be stepping out from the kitchen to teach a mushroom cooking workshop. And anyone who knows me, knows how much I love mushrooms!
My class will be a part of the New Moon Mycology Summit in Thurman, New York located in the beautiful Adirondack Mountains (where I must say the weather has been glorious).
Before I moved up to Woodstock, I used to teach Mosaic Arts through the Newark Museum and at a Jersey City summer arts camp. I loved sharing arts & crafts skills with a variety of people of all ages. I’ve missed teaching and but what I actually loved most was seeing something come alive in others.
In this upcoming workshop I will get to share my cooking skills with a focus on mushrooms. We are currently in the midst of wild mushroom season and this season has put the ‘wild’ in wild mushrooms for sure. Plainly put, it’s been quite unpredictable. Dry spells followed by sudden thunderstorms have not been very conducive to producing an abundance of mushrooms. In addition, not everyone has access to morels, chanterelles or boletes. If you are fortunate enough to find them in a store, they are often either very expensive or not in great shape because of their ephemeral nature.
Mushrooms are delicate gems susceptible to the forces of Mother Nature.
The workshop will focus on the versatility of conventional and indoor cultivated mushrooms that can be enjoyed year round. Cultivated mushrooms that are readily available are still very nutritious and packed full of flavor. Mushrooms are also a great substitute for the animal products in your favorite dishes like chili and hearty pasta sauces. They can be grilled or roasted and filleted and served over mashed potatoes with gravy.
The recipe I’ve included this month is my interpretation of Swedish ‘Meat-less’ Balls and is one of the recipes I will also be sharing in the workshop. Make sure to read through all of the directions before beginning. The mushroom balls are a bit delicate, but do hold their shape well and fry better if they have been frozen for 2-3 hours or better yet, overnight.
The second reason I am extra excited for September is that at the end of this month I will be traveling solo to the Andalucia region of Spain, my first trip ever to Europe. Yes, my inner wanderlust is doing a serious happy dance! Trust me, I will be eating ALL of the food and watching ALL of the Flamenco — and of course, looking forward to reporting it all back to you in November’s newsletter. In case you are impatient like I am, you can be bombarded with photos of everything as it happens by following my Instagram @chefchristinemoss for food related shots and @cmjmosaic for everything else Spanish (and possibly even Moroccan if my travels lead me that way).
And thirdly, I am very excited to share with you a side project I am passionate about — it combines many of my loves: mushrooms, painting, writing, the spirit world. I am in the process of creating an oracle deck and interconnecting it all. It is hand painted and collaged and it is an ode to my beloved mushrooms. Here’s a sneak peek. Stay tuned for more information as I get closer to publishing — you’ll be the first to know.
Mushroom oracle card deck in progress
Thank you for being a part of helping me grow into the fullest expression of myself. It is my hope that we can do that for each other.
Is there a project in you waiting to emerge?