i love shrubs

so this summer we are trying out shrubs. they are a simple to make beverage that is super refreshing and much healthier than pop. this article explains what they are thoroughly and also has links to great recipes.


I have made quite a few this summer (because they are so easy and good) a couple of grape/ grapefruit vinegar (hot method), strawberry/ dark chocolate vinegar (hot method), and the absolute best one was strawberry/grapefruit (cold method)

I encourage you to give shrubs a try, especially if you are making jelly or jam as it is a great way to use up that leftover juice.

Pepper wine steak

Recently I was given a very special bottle from the Crow River Winery. It is a pepper wine, and smells so good but is not my style for drinking. We’ve been experimenting with it (even tried it on SPAM, which was really good, if you like SPAM) but tonight we finally found our winner: the pepper wine steak marinade.

Mix 3 parts pepper wine and 1 part Worchester sauce and marinate your steak for at least one hour before grilling.

As you can see I topped mine with butter sauteed morels from our yard and used 2lbs eye of round steak that we bought from our neighbor who raises grass fed Scottish Highlands. A baked potato, a salad with homemade vinaigrette and a strawberry rhubarb shrub rounded out the meal.

Morels: best when fresh.

I found just a few mushrooms today and then snuck out for a quick game of golf on this gorgeous day. I brined the 6 medium sized morels (while I was gome the family found 20 more) and when I got home I lightly breaded them with flour and seasoning salt, then pan fried them until golden. So simple and yummy. And fast! It took only about 10 minutes.

I love this method for fresh morels, but I can’t think of a way to keep them for doing this later in the year.

As always, please don’t eat anything risky or unidentified based on what you read here.

Morels part two: what to do with all these mushrooms.

On our second day of hunting, I went to a flea market. My husband and kids went out foraging in the yard and I joined them later in the afternoon. Our days bounty is well over a pound and we stopped counting at 100 morels!

I also cooked up a snack of some battered, fried morels and got some ready to be frozen. This recipe is easy and delicious, even my kids devour them. But they are used to good food.

Saltine battered morels:

Ingredients: a tube of saltine crackers , vegetable oil, a couple eggs, and fresh morels.

Prepare your morels at least three hours ahead of time or the night before. I soak them in lightly salted water with a plate to weigh them down. This will get rid of dirt and hitchhikers like pillbugs. When you are ready to cook, give them a good rinse with the sink sprayer in a colander and slice them lengthwise.

Heat your oil on medium heat. Also crush your saltine crackers in a Ziploc bag with a rolling pin.

I try to batter a bunch before I start frying. Dip the morel in the egg and then roll in the saltines. Fry for about five minutes, turning once. Cool them on a paper towel lined plate and serve immediately.

I also battered another batch and placed them on a wax lined cookie sheet for the freezer. Then they will be ready to fry whenever.

Good luck and happy hunting!

Morels part 1

Morels are a great wild mushroom. They are distinctive so no fear of poisoning, which is really important in foraging food.

Ten years ago we found two morels. Today we found 75! A solid half pound of delicious nutritious fungi.

We have always, every time we picked, shaken off the mushrooms and used mesh for collecting. Todays take is about equal to last years haul for the whole season so I can attest to that method of propagating the morel mushroom. Nearly every year we have found them memorial day weekend and for about two weeks after.

Once you see them they are easy to find. Areas of decay have the best growing conditions. Right now they are brining overnight and my next post will show you how to eat them.