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stuffed women's parasols!

A few days a go, I spotted a couple of mushrooms that looked like a brown wood mushroom on my way back home. I took one home to take a closer look and a spore print, and it was one.

So today I thought I'd go back to the same place and see if there are any more (because these things are tasteh!), but I didn't. What I found instead was about 30 shaggy parasols! Initially I thought they were normal parasols, but then they started bruising red so I thought that maybe they are Chlorophyllum molybdites (which is BAD). I was so close to throwing them away, but eventually I took a spore print and they turned out to be shaggy parasols. (They call them "shaggy" because if you walk near one, it starts shagging your show like a dog does.) (No, not really.)

I had a large variety of sizes and shapes to choose from, so I chose young, cup-shaped parasols so I can stuff them with things and cook them and eat them. Like you do when you find tasty-tasty mushrooms.



4-5 medium-sized parasol mushrooms
1-2 tbsp butter
1-2 tbsp flour
100-200 ml milk (or cream)
2-3 cloves of garlic
½ onion
20-30 g blue cheese
20-30 g yellow cheese
20-30 g lilac cheese
salt and pepper (and other herbs, like dill or sage) to taste
and some more butter to baste.

1. Clean the parasols (but don't wash them because they'll use their taste - just use a wet cloth to scoop off all the dirt and stuff) (and don't be paranoid about it either - the dirt IS going to be cooked at 200˚C, so that's going to kill any germs), and place them in a baking tray/pan, facing upwards. If they don't stay, you can either chop the tops to make them flat, you can pinch them together with toothpicks, or you can make small nests with baking parchment for each one of them.

2. Melt the butter in a pan. Add the flour and mix until it's thick. Slowly add the milk, and then add the garlic and onions.

3. Cook for 4-5 minutes, and then add the spices. (Keep adding milk if it gets too dry.)

4. Fill the parasols with the mixture (butdon't fill them too much; the parasols will shrink as they cook, so the mixture will spill if you top them up), and bake in a pre-heated oven at 180˚C (360˚F) for about 30' (or until they looked cooked and juicy). Also, don't forget to baste with some butter two or three times during baking, so that you don't burn the mushrooms.

You can also stuff them with a lot of other things - a recipe I read mentions veal, others mention parmesan, and others mention sauces made of tomatoes and carrots. So you're obviously free to experiment! The mushroom itself tastes very strongly (and meaty), so it can easily be the main course.

NOTE: The parasol mushroom is known to cause some problems to some people. If you've never had it before, try a little bit first and then more.

wood blewits, part 2

So, my little wood blewits grew BIG! And what do you do when you know a place where about 23 blewits are growing? You take 'em 'n' cook'em!

I decided to try a new recipe. Richard Mabey (in his book "Food for Free") says you can cook blewits like tripe and has some rough guidelines how to cook them so, which I tried and which I am giving you here.


some big wood blewits (or field blewits) (I used 5 for me)
milk, to cover (depends on your blewits and pan)
2 tbsp butter
½ medium-sized onion
dill (or sage)
some more butter
maybe 3 tbsp flour
salt and pepper to taste

and if you want to serve it with mashed potato,
2-3 potatoes
3-4 tbsp double cream (or milk)
some more butter
(oh, and a potato masher! I didn't have one and I used a fork, which DID. NOT. WORK.)

1. Separate the stems from the caps (use a knife if you think you're going to ruin the caps), and chop the stems finely along with the onion.

2. Put the caps in a pan and spread the stems and onion around them, as well as the butter (put bits of butter around). Cover with milk (a bit more is always better than a bit better), and simmer for about 30' (depending on how big your blewits are).

3. After simmering for 30', add some more butter and flour to thicken, and add season with salt and pepper (and some more dill/sage). You can also add chopped-up cheese at this point, which will melt and make it taste nicer. But don't use blue cheese because the taste of the cheese will be too strong for the taste of the blewits.

4. Simmer for 15', stirring occasionally to make sure it is thick enough, and when you're finished, pour on a plate, inside a ring of mashed potato. (To make the mashed potato: quarter the potatoes, boil for about 30', peel, mash with butter and cream, serve)

The book says you can serve with toast and apple sauce, but I didn't have either handy, so I'll have to try some other time.

I also used some maltagliati pasta (literally translates to "badly cut", and it is pasta randomly cut - you clearly can't buy those, but you can make them quite easily when you are making your own pasta: just slice pasta randomly!) and mixed them in with the coating to add some more stuff to eat.

Lombardialainen pastat

This is a recipe for a traditional Italian dish from Lombardy, with a Finnish touch. I made pasta yesterday and after letting it dry overnight, I decided to try it out tonight. So, after a walk at the Hakaniemi market hall, traditional Aura Finnish blue cheese and freshly-picked funnel chanterelles were just shouting at me to get them, so I had to succumb to their cries and buy them and cook them.

Note: For the original Italian recipe, just use Gorgonzola cheese instead of Aura cheese, use porcini mushrooms instead of chanterelles, and use fussili -or even better farfalle- instead of tagliatelle.


100g pasta (home made pasta always tastes better!)
100-150g trumpet chanterelles
100g Aura blue cheese
100ml double cream
2-3 garlic cloves
some parsley (to cook and to serve)
a bit of butter
salt and white pepper to taste

1. Start boiling the pasta (I usually have 1L of water for every 100g of pasta, and one teaspoon of salt for every 1L of water), and sauté the garlic in a frying pan. Cook the pasta al dente (soft outside, but firm to the bite) (but also cooked).

2. Throw the chopped mushrooms in the frying pan and cook in the butter for a while (until tender - chanterelles can be quite chewy if not cooked properly).

2b. If you have/want some white wine, you can pour some over the mushrooms now, and continue with the recipe once the wine has evaporated.

3. Pour the double cream in the frying pan and take off the hob. mix thoroughly, and add the parsley, white pepper and salt.

4. Once the mixture has cooled down a bit (i.e. is not boiling), add the chopped cheese (you should leave the cheese outside the fridge for a few hours prior to cooking to let it soften) and mix until the cheese melts. Do not let the mixture to boil once the cheese has been added. Return to the hob, if necessary, but remove again if the mixture is getting too hot.

5. Once the sauce is looking nice (cooking the chanterelles in the cream will soften them further) (which is good!), add the pasta in the frying pan (ah, you should have made sure to have a big frying pan from the beginning..), and mix thoroughly, coating the pasta with the sauce and the sauce with the pasta.

6. Serve! (You can also use fresh parsley leaves to decorate the plate once you've served it, and you can serve with parmesan cheese too) (and some nice white wine!)

7. Eat.

8. Clean up.

There. Not too difficult, is it?

You can have this as a main course with a starter with prosciutto ham and balsamic syrup, to have a wunderschön meal!

oyster coaster

So, on the way back home, I decided to go through a small hill just to see if I will find any mushrooms there. It was the same area I had found my very first wild (edible) mushroom, a parasol, some three weeks ago.

As I was returning on my bicycle, I had to carry it on my shoulder to climb up, as there's no path that goes up that hill. That meant that less than five minutes later, I was looking for a place to leave my bike so I could search around on foot - and the moment I leave my bike, hurray, a parasol mushroom!

Unfortunately it was too old to eat, but right next to it was what looked like honey mushrooms (which turned out to be something completely different), and as I keep walking down I see the most delightful thing - two oyster mushrooms!

After taking the spore print (which looks just beauuuuutiful) to make sure they are indeed oyster mushrooms, I cooked them (OBVIOUSLY!) and ate them (even more obviously..).

I cut them in stripes and sautéed them, then poured some white wine, and after it evaporated I added some tomato and onion (two vegetables which just constantly hang around my cupboards), caramelised all of them together (mit honey), added some flour and seasonings, and then added a beaten egg.

You have two choices here: you can either eat them as-is, like an omelette, or..

you can mix them up, add some cheese to melt, and add on top of butter-fried slices of home-made bread!

Tastes absolutely deliciously, and they go very, very well with egg. They don't have a strong flavour, but they add a tasty touch when you mix them with other flavours.


rawwWWrr roast potatoes

Roast potatoes are good on their own, or as a side for other dishes. In Greece, for example, we serve roast potatoes with roast chicken, although the recipe is slightly different than this.

This is more like roast potatoes on their own; if you'd like to use them as a side/accompaniment to other dishes, it'd be better to tone-down the taste of the roast potatoes by using less spices and/or ingredients.


3 large potatoes (OBVIOUSLY!)
1 onion
1 tomato
olive oil
a little bit of white wine (maybe ½ cup?)
honey (yes, honey)
salt and pepper to taste

to serve
slices of CHEESE (YEAH!)
some paprika

1. Wash and chop the tomato, the onion, and the potatoes in relatively small pieces (if you want larger pieces, then you'll need to cook the potatoes for longer).

2. Boil the potatoes for about 5-7'.

3. Drain the potatoes (you can use the water to make rye bread, if you want), and put in an oven pan together with the onion and tomato, spices, some olive oil and the wine, and toss around (make sure there isn't too much liquid on the bottom of the pan - if there is, about 30' before you take the potatoes out, pour some of the liquid off). Add some honey (I put about 4 tbsp, but I like my honey..), and mix again.

4. Place in a pre-heated oven at about 180-200˚C (360-400˚F), or gas mark 7, and cook for about an hour (maybe a bit more, depending on how big the pan is, and how small the potatoe pieces are). Make sure you mix the stuff in the pan around a couple of times throughout that hour, to make sure they don't stick on the pan.

5. Take them out when they look fantastic (i.e. when they are crispy and and a bit brown on the outside, but soft and nice on the inside) and serve immediately, with cheese to melt and paprika to taste! MMMMMMMM...

korvapuusti (oder "pulla")

Korvapuusti is a kind of pulla, which is basically cardamom-flavoured bread with stuff. This particular one is with a lot of cinnamon, and shaped like a weird thing. In fact, the original name means "slapped ear", which is very, very descriptive. Not about the taste, though. Not that I would know how a slapped ear would taste..

They are eaten in abundance in Finland, but also in Sweden and Norway, where they are known as Kanelbulle and Skillingsbolle respectively, and they have slightly different shapes (but very similar).


for dough:
1 cup (~250ml) luke-warm milk
1 sachet (7-11g) dried yeast (or even better, 50g of fresh yeast)
1 egg
1 tsp salt
1+ tbsp cardamom
4-5 tbsp sugar
about 700g regular or fine wheat flour (or just plain flour, if you can't find)
3-4 tbsp warm, melted butter

for filling:
2 tbsp warm, melted butter
brown sugar (or normal, but brown tastes better), cinnamon and vanilla-sugar.
1 egg (for brushing on top before you put them in the oven)

For the filling it really depends on how much you want and how many rolls you're making - but as a guideline, I use more sugar than cinnamon, and more cinnamon than vanilla sugar/extract.

1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk, and then mix in the salt, cardamom and sugar, and whisk in the egg.

2. Start mixing in the flour (I use a plain knife to mix around the mixture as I add the flour, until I get a consistent texture with which I can work with my hands - otherwise it gets quite messy for my hands), and before you add all of the flour, also add the wet butter and mix well.

3. Knead on a lightly-floured surface for about 5 minutes, and keep adding flour if necessary, until you get a not-so-sticky dough.

4. Oil the bottom of a bowl with a bit of butter, and put the dough in there. Also spread/brush some melted butter on the exposed surface of the dough, cover, and let in a warm place to rise to twice the size (about 30-45').

5. Re-knead the dough for another 2-3 minutes, and split in half. Roll out each of the halves (use a wine bottle if you don't have a rolling pin) to a rectangle/square, until the dough is quite thin (less than 1 cm).

6. Spread some melted butter on the surface, but don't go quite all the way to the edges. Then, start sprinkling the mixture (I use a LOT because I like my cinnamon a LOT), but contain the sprinkled area even more than the buttered area.

7. Roll the dough, starting from the wider end to a narrower end, pressing firmly, and once you've rolled it, cut the dough using a non-serrated knife in the shape shown below. Vary the angle at which you cut the pieces to get different shapes (I make about 6 korvapuusti per half the dough).

8. Turn the korvapuusti so that the thin side is on top, and squeeze slightly on top to give them the shape and make sure they STAY PUT. Place the korvapuusti on a tray, but leave space between them because they will rise. Cover and let rise for another 30-45', or until they've doubled (again) in size.

9. Brush the top of the korvapuusti with some beaten egg, and then you can sprinkle sugar on top of them (even better, use coarse or rock sugar).

10. Put in a pre-heated oven at 225˚C (or 440˚F) (200˚C/380˚F for fan ovens) (and gas mark 7 for gas ovens), and bake them for about 8-10 minutes, or until they look DELICIOUS!

You can always serve them with jam or honey, or you can just throw them out of the window. But I think throwing them out of the window might annoy people walking below it. If you have a garden you can throw it out in the garden. But that would also be a waste. Well, not really, because it will decompose and become food for the plants in your garden. If you don't have plants in your garden, you suck.

toast francais, mit cinnamon (und vanilla)

So this is how french toast look like. Not that it is any more French than it is Slovakian. Nor is it a toast. It's just bread. With egg.


2 eggs
3-4 slices of bread (not toast bread, preferably!)
1-2 tbsp milk
½ tsp sugar (or vanilla sugar, if available)
less than ½ tsp cinnamon (or more - to taste)
1 tbsp butter

1. Mix everything together in a bowl.

2. Soak the slices of bread in the mixture, and then fry in the butter.

3. Serve.

Hard, innit?

And guess what - you can use ANY ingredients you want! You can make it savoury by adding salt, pepper and oregano, or you can make it more complicated by adding cooked mushrooms, onions and grated zucchini.

Can I be more obvious?!

If you make the cinnamon one, it goes very very well with jam and/or honey. But also with cheese, for some bizarre reason.

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