Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The joy of having daughters... and Miss Vanderbilt

I had a really long day last Friday. Was gone all day from home with two of the girls who were performing Royal Conservatory piano exams in a town 50 miles away. Their exam times? 10:48 a.m. and 3:50 p.m. (At the cost of gas, I couldn't run back and forth twice in one day). So we had a whole day to kill in between, in a town with basically one nice store. The library was closed. We arrived home at supper time, tired, wilted, and hungry, and there were my three oldest girls, bustling in the kitchen. They'd prepared salad, crab-stuffed mushrooms, tiny shell pasta with white sauce (mixed with the leftover crab stuffing), salad, and for dessert, PIE (not one, but THREE different kinds: cherry, blueberry and rhubarb, which still counts, even though I don't like it). The pie crusts (which were lovely, and something I never could have achieved at that age) were either latticed or fluted and decorated with pastry cut-outs of eighth notes, in honour of the piano exams. I wish I'd taken photographs. (Mrs. Jones is going to scold me for not doing so.)

Will it atone to include the recipe?

Stuffed Mushrooms (Amy Vanderbilt's Complete Cookbook)

1 pound mushrooms
4 Tbsp butter or margarine
1/4 cup finely cut onion
1/4 cup finely sliced celery
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp salt (or less, to taste--we found this was a bit much)
1/8 tsp pepper
Melted butter
1/4 cup grated processed American cheese (girls used cheddar)

Wash mushrooms. Drain. Remove stems. Chop or slice stems fine. Heat butter or margarine in large skillet. Add onion, celery, mushroom stems. Simmer until celery is tender. Stir in Worcestershire, salt, and pepper. Brush mushroom caps with melted butter. Fill caps with onion mixture. Start oven at moderate (350 degrees F). Arrange stuffed caps, stuffed side up, in greased shallow baking pan (or skip the grease and use parchment paper). Sprinkle caps with cheese. Bake 15 minutes or until cheese melts. Makes 4 or 5 servings.

Vary the stuffing: Substitute flaked, boned crab meat for celery. Mix crab with a little mayonnaise.


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