#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller

Yes, we have no criminis

This is the mushroom blog I warned you about :)–but first, an important update on the bone broth discussion yesterday.  I left out an important ingredient–apple cider vinegar–with is added at the beginning of the simmering process.  As one of you commented, ACV does help dissolve the bones.  Who knew?  Most recipes recommend about 2 tablespoons.

Now begins my mushroom saga (so far), and I’m sure several new arrivals are figuratively scratching their heads and asking themselves, “Isn’t this supposed to be a blog about books?”  :)  (The answer: Yes.  This is a blog about books, and books are about–everything!)

I mentioned Marco Canora’s cookbook yesterday–it’s the best I’ve seen, so far.  Perusing the recipes (I must be in one of my foodie phases), one for Mushroom Risotto caught my eye.  Ever since I spent considerable time in northern Italy, years and years ago, I have been fond of ANY kind of risotto.  Suffice it to say, it’s delicious, and I’m always thrilled to find it on a menu.  As it happens, my handsome nephew, Chef Luke Burgess, makes a wonderful risotto, along with many other dishes.  If you should happen to be (or live) in the Spokane area, stop by the Latah Creek Bistro.  (Tell Luke Aunt Linda sent you. )  But I digress.  

Reading the ingredient list, I was confronted with several kinds of mushroom.  To me, raised in Northport, Washington, any kind of mushroom was exotic–while a few little fragments showed up in Mom’s tuna casserole, which called for a can of cream of m. soup, they remained an unknown quantity for a long time.  Unlike the wild aspargus that grew alongside the railroad tracks, shrooms were in the do-not-pick-and-NEVER-eat category.  I was, in fact, so shroom-ignorant that when I was a bride, one of my sisters-in-law (hi, Karen) asked me why I didn’t add the lovely fungi to a certain dish.  My reply?  Brace yourself for a rush of stupidity.  I said, “I don’t know how to peel them.”  Laughter ensued and, like the time I made—well, another story for another time, the statement shall live in familial infamy forever.

Okay, so by now I recognized most of the names–button, shiitake, portobello, etc.  But the ones called “criminis” threw me, so I Googled.  OK.  Criminis are basically portobellos that haven’t reached the age of reason.  Gotya.  Except nobody seemed to have them, or even know what they were.  Huh?  I defaulted to the internet.  Believe it or not, I ordered two pounds of the things, because darn it, I needed criminis, and would accept no substitutes.  Confident of quick delivery, I gathered the other ingredients, and, a day or two later, got out my largest stock pot, set to go.  I received the customary notice on my phone that my order had been delivered, though this proved untrue.  The postman had apparently placed the package in someone else’s mail box, which happens sometimes and is really no big deal–unless you’ve already chopped the carrots and celery, etc.  I would be forced to substitute, I decided, and made a quick trip to my nearest supermarket, to buy portobellos, the nearest relation, and, voila, there were my criminis!  Piles of them.  The quest was over!  Back home, I fired up the stove and put the wide-mouth Mason jars through the dishwasher.  I was ready to roll!  (Note: mushroom broth requires a LOT less cooking time than bone broth–it simmers around 2 hours, as opposed to the 24 my bone broth takes.)

The mushroom broth turned out….fabulous.  I added some to that batch of chicken soup I mentioned last time, and put the rest in the freezer.  I will be attempting my first risotto this coming weekend.  Cross your fingers!

So, what did I learn from this experience?  Well, for one thing, I really, really like to cook.  For another, it would probably be simpler to head on down to Latah Creek Bistro for an order of Luke’s risotto next time the craving hits.  :) 


22 comments to “Yes, we have no criminis”

  1. Wendy Allen
      · December 1st, 2016 at 2:00 pm · Link

    I want to thank you so much for these little side adventures. I’ve been curious about bone broth for a while now. This helped inspire me to look at it more seriously. I’m a senior who has returned to school full time to FINALLY get my degree and become a nurse. Seems everything has been put on hold so I can complete this. I hadn’t realized until yesterday just how much I was missing cooking real food! Thanks for the reminder.

  2. Teresa Fordice
      · December 1st, 2016 at 2:50 pm · Link

    ah yes what my kids think when they are craving one of my specialties – although I have done a pretty good job of making sure they can all cook and now started with little ones as well

  3. Diana E.
      · December 1st, 2016 at 2:57 pm · Link

    Its funny about those cravings, isn’t it? Blessings.

  4. Virginia Horton
      · December 1st, 2016 at 3:09 pm · Link

    Well since I cook everyday, I am tired of cooking. Around here they want the same thing all the time with nothing different. My husband only wants meat and potatoes all the time and I am so tired of it. Something different would be great for a change. Even when I barbacue something he sticks his nose up. Its chicken tonight fried I am sure. I would love to just boil a chicken and make some noodle soup which would be so good. One of these days I will fix it and tell him its either eat that or do without.

  5. Susan Lee
      · December 1st, 2016 at 3:24 pm · Link

    it all sounds so delicious. I am just embarking on a low carb diet and eating lots of bone broth though I don’t cook it for twenty four hours and it still tastes great.

  6. Lois Rotella
      · December 1st, 2016 at 3:57 pm · Link

    Sounds good the risotto. I am not mushroom person. I really do not care for the taste. I will try the bone broth.

  7. Pamela Devereux
      · December 1st, 2016 at 4:16 pm · Link

    At least you have a nephew that can make risotto. No chefs in my family. At least you got over your do not eat mushroom faze. I never did.

  8. Ruby Norwood
      · December 1st, 2016 at 4:17 pm · Link

    Linda , you are just a jack of all trades, bet you haven’t ever heard that one. my mom use to tell me that all the time. Your risotto isn’t for me, and it does sound good, but i’m not a mushroom person..I enjoyed the blog !!

  9. Gloria Herring
      · December 1st, 2016 at 5:20 pm · Link

    I hope you enjoyed your soup, Linda.

  10. Leanna
      · December 1st, 2016 at 5:44 pm · Link

    I often see the cremini mushrooms labeled as baby Bella’s. I’ve never had a problem finding them at my store. It’s nice you found them online.

  11. Shirley Meyle
      · December 1st, 2016 at 6:16 pm · Link

    Hey Linda,
    Another great story. Always fun to hear your ventures! :-P

  12. Lorelei Sawtelle
      · December 1st, 2016 at 9:19 pm · Link

    I keep telling myself that one day I will be the first to comment on one of your blogs. Hasn’t happened yet, may never. But, I shall, in the meanwhile, thoroughly enjoy being entertained by your adventures in life!

    Blessings to you and yours.

  13. Melaine
      · December 1st, 2016 at 10:18 pm · Link

    Sounds like you are becoming quite the cook, Linda. But, please, don’t give up your day job. I would hate to think you weren’t writing a putting out more books for those of us, this means everyone of us who get your blog, who depend on you.

    Wish you the best with your risotto this weekend. I love mushrooms, so I’m going to try the broth.

  14. Terri Shortell
      · December 1st, 2016 at 11:57 pm · Link

    This sounds very good. I love mushrooms but my kid said they’re nasty and refuses to eat them. This makes my mushroom consumption limited. This could work for me though, so I’m going to do this and the bone broth. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Louise McCourt
      · December 2nd, 2016 at 2:01 am · Link

    I leave the cooking new recipes to my sisters. I have four sisters(one has past) and two brothers. When our parents were alive, we spent each Sunday together and we still get together every Sunday. But I do not care for mushrooms…sorry.

  16. Kathleen O
      · December 2nd, 2016 at 10:21 am · Link

    Mushrooms are one of my fav things to eat.. I put them in lots of recipes, especially stuffing..

  17. Marjorie Martin
      · December 2nd, 2016 at 12:39 pm · Link

    Ok, I know you are a book author but I want the Mushroom broth recipe. I am already going to use the bone broth recipe as I really like to make things from scratch since I have alot of food allergies.
    Now I am not only impressed with your skills as my favorite book author, but you can pass on wonderful recipes!!
    Thank you so much,

  18. Diane Sallans
      · December 2nd, 2016 at 11:20 pm · Link

    I love Mushrooms! I’ll have to find some recipes & see what mushrooms are available – are they seasonal, or different per region of the country?

  19. Mai
      · December 3rd, 2016 at 12:07 am · Link

    I love mushrooms. Mushroom soup is one of my favourite. So did you find out who got your creminis?

  20. Lauri claes
      · December 3rd, 2016 at 2:22 am · Link

    Don’t feel bad. I am not that wise when it comes to mushrooms either. Love the story’s. Keep them coming

  21. Colleen
      · December 4th, 2016 at 3:09 pm · Link

    Enjoy the news from your part of the world and looking forward to the new books.

  22. Mary Ann Fuhs
      · December 6th, 2016 at 1:58 pm · Link

    perseverance pays off. We live in the country so I am always making substitutions.

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