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On Your Mark, Get Set: On the Road, with Mushrooms…

2010 July 6

by Sarah A. Maine

This week Recipe Relay is on the road in Rhode Island where I am visiting my parents. We have been cooking and feasting non-stop since I got here – gathering with friends on beaches, lawns, and boats – celebrating the 4th and beyond.  Cooking while traveling can be stressful but doesn’t have to be. Seeking out local food sources adds extra flavor (literally!) to any trip. Even if you don’t cook, local markets can provide plenty of ready-made snacks: fruit, bread, cheese, baked goods, and other local delicacies. The best way to find local food is to ask about it, and keep asking, wherever you are: in your own neighborhood or in a strange one. In Rhode Island my mother is my guide; I have benefited over and over again from her intrepid food explorations and have learned to be bolder about my own.

After reading Brianna’s post, we resolved to make Ratatorte and use up a pile of farmers market beets. We made two tortes, which required a team effort. I managed the slicing, my sister made the duxelle, and my mother whipped the garlic cashew sauce. Ratatorte appeared at three meals over the weekend and satisfied us every time! The Ratatorte got me thinking about mushrooms – and what my Relay would be. An invitation to spend a day sailing on a friend’s boat added an extra element to the challenge. Mushrooms and a picnic, I needed to figure out how those two things went together.

A trip to the South Kingstown farmers market yielded several bunches of delicate French shallots from S&P Gardiner Farm, fresh goat cheese from The Reynold’s Barn, and two loaves of multigrain bread from the Great Harvest Bread Company. With no mushrooms in sight, we headed to the Alternative Food Coop on Main Street in Wakefield where I picked up organic mushrooms and garlic. I had an idea and ingredients but I wasn’t sure how they would fit together.  For this I got some help from my mother’s copy of The Silver Spoon, a cookbook I covet but don’t own – you can trust the Italians to have 100 recipes that use mushrooms!

Come back on Thursday to see the delicious results!
- Sarah