Pirates Practice Fillet and Release, and I’m Making Cream of Morel Soup Today

Well, the Feesh prolly got cocky about having had their way with Peetsburgh on Thursday and Friday, and the Pirates came back and ate their lunch yesterday afternoon when David Phelps flounced in from the boolpen in high spirits and promptly got clocked for three runs, one of ’em the deciding tally, in the seventh. I’m okay with it. Rust Town is a fine old franchise and, even though they tried to screw over the great George Sisler, it’s cool that they’ll finish up the weekend with their pride intact. Final score: Annie Dillard’s hometown boys 7/16/1, Old Gator’s rooting-interest-in-limbo 6/11/0. The dynamic duo (a shout-out to the late beloved Adam West)  of Derek Dutchman and J T Realmuto cranked back to back homers at one point, for all the good it did them.

In the process the karmically challenged Iron Giant got stung on the wrist by a 95 mph fastball from the torquey claw of  Trevor Williams. Our big guy is reported “day to day,” which I guess is what distinguishes him from the rest of us.

Anyway, I need to run this in honor of the pot-bellied Batman who convinced me at an early age that heroism was for the out-of-shape too:

Image result for images of adam west

Now then, a quick instalment of “Tales of the Beloved Wooden Spoon,” of which there will be a fuller extrapolation tomorrow: I received several pounds of fresh wild morel mushrooms from a friend in the sodden Pacific Northwest, home of other types of fungus including all those alt-right ambulatory sphincters and the most poisonous newts in the world:

Image result for images of western newts

Do not eat one of these. Here in Macondo we have a variety of sayings about how stupidity, beer and alligators don’t mix. On the other side of the Sierras, they say stupidity, beer and newts don’t mix. Every few months you can read in the damp local papers about the terminal exploits of some good ole boy who got loaded and took a dare from some of his equally clueless pals to swallow one. And there’ll be lots of fun at Finnegan’s wake.  (For what it’s worth, garter snakes eat newts and seem to be immune to their Pazuzu cocktail of toxins; there’s some fascinating stuff in the professional literature about the “arms race” along the forest floor between the increasingly powerful poisons of the newts and the increasingly stubborn immunity of the garter snakes. Ain’t Darwin grand?)

But the mushrooms, however, they’re pretty spectacular. Morels can be sliced in half longitudinally, sauteed in butter with just a bit of shaved garlic and finely diced onion, and that alone will fill your kitchen with an aroma that will have you drooling on your shoes. I sauteed a bunch this morning and promptly scrambled them into some eggs with a sprinkling of finely shredded queso fresco.  Oh Buddha.

This afternoon I am attempting a variation on cream of mushroom soup using morels, porcini and truffles. I’ll be experimenting with poaching the mushrooms over very low heat in a little bit of chicken stock which I will then strain and reduce before adding it to the cream, sherry and flour base along with the sauteed mushrooms with onions, nutmeg and garlic. I’ll report on how that comes out tomorrow.

Also this week: I’ll be reviewing a couple of books about the less-well-known-than-he-ought-to-be George Sisler, a guy Ruth and Cobb considered their peer and the last guy to bat over .400 twice.

No further word on Beep Beep’s efforts to raise enough money to displace the revulsive Scrooge McLoria and succor the local community. We are watching closely and will let everyone know what’s cooking….er….ah….




2 thoughts on “Pirates Practice Fillet and Release, and I’m Making Cream of Morel Soup Today

  1. Love me some mushrooms! We ate three pounds this year. That soup sounds like it’s gonna be delicious. However, they are so good fried I don’t know how you can bring yourself to eat/try them any other way. And they are so rare I would be too concerned about screwing them up. But (admittedly), I am no Julia Child.


    1. In all honesty, I have always tried oddball approaches to morels and truffles. Yes, they’re hard to come by, especially if you don’t have a trained pig.

      On the other hand, they are so good that I cannot be jejune about unlocking that flavor by other means. They’re so good, in fact, that even Cormac McCarthy couldn’t resist plugging a few into his ashen apocalypse in The Road. I think the scene where the father and the son find some morels in the forest – with the possible exception of one dog and the less deserving humans the only other surviving macroorganisms on Earth (quite an honor!) – is one of my favorites in the novel, which also features a few pointers about the storage and preparation of hominid. The father gives a few morels to his son who, with the kind of brutal clarity we’ve come to expect from Cormac McCarthy, responds “They’re good” (punctuation mine).

      Yes. Just so.

      Incidentally, if ex-O.S.S. agent Julia Child were still alive, I have no doubt she’d be testifying in the Trump Quisling hearings in progress in Washington.


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