Thursday, 31 January 2013


A reminder; when we land in North America, we use the State, Province, Territory or general region. I am full aware that Oregon is not a country!  We were delighted to be in yet another coastal region though....another excuse for a seafood dinner!
I had tried to convince the boys (I include Dad in the term "the boys") that we should do a pioneer, Oregon Trail kind of meal......Shawn said I was only thinking that because of the computer game we played in grade 6, Oregon Trail although he does not know what I'm talking about when I reminisce about this, apparently they did not play this game in Kingston. I loved “buying” things in the store, and trying to get my cattle across the country. He also makes fun of me when I talk about King's Quest; the game I always played on my Grandparent's computer. Does anybody out there know what I'm talking about??
Anyway, they were having nothing to do with beans and biscuits, not when we could dine from the sea.
Research showed me that the nut of Oregon is the Hazelnut (98% of the hazelnut production in the US is grown in Oregon) the fruit is pear (although, I came across more references to berries) and the mushroom is chanterelle. OK, I can work with all of this. And round it out with some oysters and mussels.
Using the LCBO website, I found there were 2 stores that had a beer brewed in Oregon on it shelves. The first one I visited could not find the beer. The second one had it; Rogue Ales' Pumpkin Patch Ale. Another location had 3 bottles left of a wine; Evolution by Sokol Blosser Winery.....and it was on sale! After 3 LCBO visits, I had my drinks.

The beer was actually quite nice, I wasn't sure about a pumpkin ale, but I liked it! The wine too was a nice surprise.....I'm developing a taste for white, and this was nice, crisp and refreshing.

The Menu
Appetizer: Oysters on the half shell while sipping on Pumpkin Ale. I even found Kumamoto Oysters, harvested in the Pacific Northwest, USA.....perhaps they even came from Oregon?
The Main: Golden Chanterelle Mushroom Soup and Pumpkin Ale and Shallot mussels
Dessert: Pear & Hazelnut Crisp

The Recipes:

Golden Chanterelle Mushroom Soup
Found the main recipe on I'll share that recipe, and make notes of the changes I had to make. The first one being, just how was I supposed to find (and afford!) 1 ¾ pounds of chanterelle mushrooms in Kingston, in January? Instead of the amount called for in this recipe, I used 4 cups sliced mixed mushrooms (oyster, white and cremini) and 2 packages of dried chanterelles. Each package produced about 7oz and cost $4.I don't want to do the math, but I  would have had to buy A LOT of the dried packages to make up 1 ¾ lbs. For the broth, I used the venison broth Shawn made. THAT is a whole other I'll tell in my other's coming soon. This soup produced a rich, earthy flavour.

                     ½ cup olive oil (I used about ¼ cup)
                     1 ¾ pounds chanterelle mushrooms
                     ½ pound white mushrooms, chopped
                     2 large celery stalks, chopped
                     2 medium leeks, chopped
                     ½ cup shallots, sliced
                     4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
                     3 quarts strong chicken stock (I used about 6 cups of venison stock & 2 cups of mushroom soaking liquid)
                     3 fresh thyme sprigs, or 1 tsp dried
                     2 bay leaves
                     salt & pepper
                     inner leaves of one bunch of celery, chopped

In a heavy-bottomed 4-quart saucepan (I used my beautiful new Le Creseut I got for Christmas!) heat olive oil. Add mushrooms, stirring for about 5 minutes. Add celery, leeks, shallots and garlic stirring until all vegetable juice has evaporated and mushrooms start to brown, approximately 15 minutes. Add stock, stir, add thyme and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer for 60-90 minutes.
Remove from heat and cool. Blend most of the soup your favourite way (If you don't have a hand held submersible blender, you should ask someone to get you one!) Season with salt & pepper. Garnish with celery leaves.
A side note: we told the boys the soup was made with venison (not a lie......if we told them it was made with mushrooms, they would have said it was yucky) They tasted, and loved! Even after we told them that it was mushroom soup, and the chunks they ate were not venison, they still had seconds!

Pear Hazelnut Crisp
Shawn really likes my apple crisp (and I don't just think he's saying that because he has to) But, my crisp calls for wheat  flour, and he is not eating wheat. This recipe I made up totally on my own, based on my apple crisp recipe, that I probably learned from my Mom.

                     6 pears, peeled and sliced
                     1 cup oats
                     ¾ cup brown sugar
                     ¼ cup rice flour
                     ½ toasted hazelnuts; grind them up in a coffee grinder or food processor until you get a flour like consistency
                     ½ butter, chopped into ½ pieces
                     handful of toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped

Arrange pears in bottom of a baking dish. In another bowl, combine oats, sugar, rice flour and hazelnut flour. With your hands, work the butter in, until you have a nice crumbly “mess” with small bits of butter showing, but all dry ingredients are incorporated. Spread crumble over pears, and sprinkle chopped hazelnuts on top. Bake at 350F for 30-45 minutes, depending on how crunchy (or mushy) you like the pears. A bit of bite to them is nice; the top should be nicely browned.

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