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a quarter century

Recipe: roasted chanterelle mushrooms

I remember the first Halloween we spent in our Colorado house, I watched with great anxiety as a 3-foot tall Yoda struggle up the driveway in the failing light of day. The ferocious winds whipped his ancient Jedi robes this way and that. I think I gave that little kid 5 pieces of candy for his sheer determination and unbroken spirit. There was no truer Jedi than he. Back then, our neighbor’s children were little and would come by to trick or treat more as a courtesy call. We always told them to take two handfuls because so few kids came around to our house (it’s a short trek from the main road). As the kids got older and went away for college, we still held out for a year or two. I made sure to buy the kind of candy that Jeremy likes so that I could tuck one into his lunch after no one came by for Halloween.

These days we turn off the porch lights in the hopes that no one will ring the doorbell and send Neva into a tizzy of territorial barking. There were no trick-or-treaters to worry about this Halloween. As the winds gusted to 85 mph around our house, we were inside with friends eating Chinese hot pot and discussing climate science, the CDT (Continental Divide Trail), winter biathlon, Greenland, and chocolate.


neva loves to look out the window

dinner prep for chinese hot pot

a windy halloween sunset



That night, after our friends had driven off into the darkness and we finished washing dishes, the clock struck midnight. Jeremy turned to me and said, “Happy I’m Glad I Met You Day!” November 1st is our smoochiversary, but this November 1st was our 25-year smoochiversary. These “milestones” happen in the same year: 20th wedding anniversary in March, 25 years together in November. Numbers aside, it’s the quality of this relationship – this partnership – that means so much to me. Here’s to our ongoing grand adventure, my dearest Jeremy.

strawberry peak in 1994

crested butte in 2017



After our mid-week dinner party, I had the blahs for a couple of days. Blahs as in feeling tired, tummy out of whack, unable to focus, aches and pains. It was as if all of summer and the first half of autumn had caught up to me, knocked me down, left me in the dust. Ever since my cancer treatments, I’ve learned to listen to my body instead of running it into the ground like I did in my teens and twenties. I let myself sleep and recuperate from my weird fatigue and I was back to my old self in no time. Jeremy could tell I was feeling better one morning because I took the dog out to potty, shot sunrise, and rattled off a list of house maintenance that needed to be completed before the next snow storm as I practically rolled him out of bed. We got it all done and more, plus I’m back to a regular exercise regimen which always *always* makes me feel better.

lovely sunrise colors in the west

a windy hike with neva (note the ears flapping in the wind)

my parents arrived in town sunday night, so we picked them up and went to dinner



I’ve noticed when I walk through the produce section of Whole Foods, I linger by the fresh mushrooms and inspect them carefully. I caress them to see how fresh they are, turning them to admire the structures, smelling them to see if they have a strong perfume. I’m searching for a hint of the tangible characteristics of the mushrooms I foraged. It’s even worse at Costco right now where they have fresh chanterelles in stock. These are sealed in plastic with tiny air holes so the mushrooms don’t turn to mush. I tried sniffing them through the little holes, but I couldn’t catch the slightest sign of that signature chanterelle smell. I’m not buying any, I’m just a little bit in mushroom withdrawal. I imagine I will continue to be that strange girl acting weirdly around the mushrooms until next spring. But since fresh chanterelles are in the store, you might want to take advantage and get some. Here’s an elegant, easy, and tasty way to prepare the queens of the mushroom world. Let’s roast them! I made this dish back in September at the end of my chanterelle season.

shallot, olive oil, butter, chanterelles, salt, pepper, fresh thyme

slice the chanterelles thick or in half if they are small

sliced, melted, stripped, and ready



It’s the simplest thing ever. Toss all of the ingredients into a bowl and coat the mushrooms in the fats. Spread the contents of the bowl out onto a baking sheet, baking pan, roasting pan, or cast iron skillet. To get the maximum effect of the roasting, they should sit in a single layer. If the mushrooms are piled on top of one another, they won’t brown as nicely and might even steam rather than roast. I like to give them a little stir and flip every 5 minutes to prevent burning and to create more browned sides (i.e. deliciousness).

toss everything together in a bowl

make sure the oil and butter coat all of the mushroom pieces

spread in a single layer to roast

deep golden orange in color



These roasted chanterelles have a more concentrated sweetness, nuttiness, and floral perfume. You can eat them straight out of the pan like candy, serve them as a side, top a steak with them, toss them with pasta, fold them into an omelette. And if you don’t have chanterelles at your disposal, use some other edible mushroom. This dish warms the house while you roast the mushrooms, and then it warms you when you eat them.

serve in a smaller vessel (because they shrink when roasted)

top with a few token sprigs of thyme

dive into the chanty goodness


Roasted Chanterelle Mushrooms
[print recipe]

8 oz. fresh chanterelle mushrooms, sliced thick (or halved if small)
1 shallot, peeled, sliced thin
2 tbsps olive oil
1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss all of the ingredients together in a bowl and pour into a baking pan, foil-lined rimmed baking sheet, or wide cast iron skillet. Bake for 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally every 5 or so minutes, until the mushrooms are just browned on the edges. Serves 2 as a side dish.


more goodness from the use real butter archives

chanterelle mushroom dip chanterelle puffs pheasant chanterelle pot pie chanterelle-stuffed pork tenderloin

6 nibbles at “a quarter century”

  1. Jill Hyde says:

    We celebrate the day we fell in love, and in fact set our wedding for that day too. Love is grand.
    My book club decided we should do a food drive next year instead of Halloween. Too few trick or treaters,
    Your Chanterelle roast is a masterpiece! xo, jill

  2. Melissa says:

    Happy 25, you wonderful people. <3

    I listen to my body so much more now too. Sometimes it just needs REST. And it's good to give it what it needs. But also: ditto on the regular exercise. I slacked off quite a bit this summer (probably 50% of my normal level), and when I kicked it back up mid-September I was floored at what a mental boost it gave me, and how much motivation and energy I had to spare for all the other to-do's around my house or my kitchen. It really is the best thing!

  3. Jen Topp says:

    “Smoochiversary.” I love it! We celebrate ours by our first kiss after being friends for almost a year. This year will be our 30th (how the HELL did that happen) on Dec. 17. I love it even more than our wedding anniversary!

  4. Kristin says:

    Congratulations on 25 years! And mushrooms, shallots, and thyme…oh my!

  5. Janet says:

    Congratulations on your anniversaries of togetherness – there is nothing more important.

    Always thrilled to check in (and to follow you on IG).

    Glad you’re feeling better too.

    xo

  6. jenyu says:

    Jill – Clearly you and the good doctor are excellent planners! :) xoxo

    Mel – Thank you, friend xo. I love how you and I both arrive at the same conclusions on our own and live by those lessons :) Love you!!

    Jen – Awww! I totally feel the same way about our smoochiversary versus anniversary. Congrats on coming up on 30 years!

    Kristin – Thank you, my dear! xo

    Janet – Thanks, such a sweet message :) <3

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