Howdy folks, it’s been quite a while… I hope everyone is doing well, and that those who celebrate today’s holiday, here in the good Ol’ US of A, are enjoying the company of friends and loved ones; feasting on some version of what has become known as Thanksgiving dinner…

I’m sure there are many of my former readers who are wondering what happened. Why I haven’t written lately, or for that matter, hardly at all in the past few years. At some point, I’ll address that more thoroughly, but right now, all I really want to do is share a few, brief thoughts with you as I prepare my ‘contribution’ to the dinner I’ll be attending in a little while.

So, without further ado, here’s tman’ famous (or infamous:P) recipe for sautéed mushrooms. I’ve brought this dish to dozens of family get togethers and parties elsewhere, and have often had attendees ask me what I did to achieve such a flavourful dish.

Well, lol, I can’t say I employed any particularly secret techniques, so the questions used to throw me, more or less, at first. But then I started to realise that with the exception of those who were simply trying to be kind, to the “confirmed bachelor” in their midst, there WAS something just a little bit different about my sautéed mushrooms. I mean, I’ve been to lots of parties and restaurants over the years, and have tasted other peoples’ renditions, and enjoyed most of them, but often I yearn for my own, especially around the holidays.

So this year, since I’ll be attending a celebration at my sister’s house for the first time in three years, I asked what I should bring, and wouldn’t you know it, “sautéed mushrooms” was the immediate response! Hmm… Come to think of it, I hope that’s not the only reason I was invited! 😛 I like to think that certain people have evolved in their thinking. Well, we’ll see. The jury’s still out on that…

Anyways, since this will be a small gathering, I purchased only 5 small containers of sliced mushrooms this time. What were they? Uh… I think 8 ounce containers. Yeah.

I tend to buy too much, due to my generous nature, so plan accordingly! I DO know that once you start cooking, what seemed like a lot, reduces to, ” What in the heck happened to all of those mushrooms!!!” So, buy enough realising they cook down to about 1/3 of their original mass, but also understanding that this shouldn’t be the main course! 🙂

Once upon a time, I didn’t ‘cheat’ and bought whole mushrooms that I then spent about an hour slicing, but lately I’ve taken the shortcut that tempted me all those years, and saved myself that extra work. To be honest, I don’t notice much of a difference in taste, and I doubt anyone else would. Besides, the mushrooms can’t talk, so…

I start out by finding the frozen chicken stock I save in my freezer from all of the chickens I roast. I pour off the drippings from my cast iron oven roasting pot once the chicken is cooked, into salvaged plastic containers from Wonton soup I buy at the local Chinese restaurant, and allow the slurry to cool. Then, I freeze it with the layers of broth and solidified fat separating the various ‘savings’. What I’m left with resembles the growth rings on a tree 😛 Each layer of ‘usable’ stock is separated by a layer of frozen fat, that I normally discard. I use the resulting chicken stock to enhance my homemade pasta sauces and to sauté certain things and to make the occasional gravies that I rarely indulge in, anymore. Hey, they’re delicious, but a bit fattening, so I try to steer clear. My ladders (and knees) appreciate that, me thinks 😛

Anyways, once the chicken broth is deposited into a deep enough pan, I add a small (in this case) chopped onion, and start to cook that. The chicken drippings also contain flavours resulting from my recipes that I use to roast the birds, like the fruity flavours of the Pinot Grigio I use for marinating, and the salt and fresh, ground pepper I season the chickens with. So, there’s no need to add more pepper, altho I do add a little more salt. There’s something about sautéed mushrooms that cries out for salt, for some reason!

Once the onions are really cooking and smelling good, I add the chopped mushrooms, all at once, and cover the pan with a lid, to contain the heat and juices. MMMM! Already, the kitchen is full of the aromas that whet my appetite and make me yearn for the final approach… Whoops! I guess I’m mixing metaphors a bit there 😛 But, you catch my drift, no? Time to stick the landing and get that loaded plate of goodies in front of you! Only… It DOES take another 45 minutes or so to completely cook the mushrooms to the point where they’re tender and the aromas drive you to distraction, especially of you’ve ‘saved’ your appetite like I have today, and haven’t eaten yet…

Oh! Did I forget to mention that adding a little butter to the mix makes the outcome even better?! Lol. Yeah, I know it’s fattening, but trust me on this one– you only eat like this once or twice a year, right?! Why deny yourself, or the other people who wonder why it tastes so dang good? 🙂

Well, I’m running out of time, so I’ll insert the pictures into this post and shock you all by posting something:P I’ll also send a shout- out to a young man from Minnesota who has been shining in my absence. I’m glad for that 😛 He’s turned into a fine writer, not that I ever had any doubt!

Love you all! tman<3

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