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we are safe

Recipe: pappardelle with chanterelles

My email has been inundated with inquiries from family, friends, and readers about our situation amidst the devastating flooding in the Colorado Front Range. Jeremy, Kaweah, and I are safe. Our house is fine. Our little mountain town of Nederland is more or less fine with only one viable route out of town – we are near the top where our water catchment area is relatively small. Thank you for your concern. Sadly, several neighboring mountain and canyon communities (Lyons, Jamestown, Salina) have been cut off and badly damaged from heavy flooding, mass wasting, road and ground collapse. All canyon roads in Boulder County are closed due to damage (sections of roads completely washed away) and/or rock slides, and it could be months before some of these roads open again. A normally 25-minute commute to Boulder might wind up becoming a 90-minute commute for a while. On the flats, parts of Boulder and surrounding cities have suffered terrible flooding as a year’s worth of rainfall collected in the mountains in a matter of a days and came funneling down the mountains as a wall of destruction and energy.

People poke fun at and bag on Boulder all the time. I just smile and sit on my hands so I don’t accidentally punch anyone. I suppose it is an easy target with all of its enlightenment, local food movement, yoga, ultra athletes, ultra outdoors people, food allergies, restrictive diets, casual atmosphere, dedication to local businesses, lovely parks, extensive bike paths, public services, love of dogs, Subarus, and countless independent coffee shops. It’s a special kind of place, one that I love dearly. It has a lot of heart and community. Good people live there and make it the great town that it is. Even though the rains have not yet stopped, people are already helping friends and strangers alike clean up flooded homes and neighborhoods.

If you would like to help with a financial or material donation or to volunteer, please visit Help Colorado Now for more information.

Over the past several days, Jeremy and I have been safe, but stuck at home with an occasional walk around our neighborhood. Authorities requested that everyone stay home and let rescue and repair crews work. All parks and trails are closed. We snatched tidbits of news from friends, emergency status pages, and university alerts. Our hearts ached with every flash flood warning and flood surge that raced down the canyons. And we sighed with relief each time a friend checked in on Facebook, Twitter, via text or email. We even caught a few short breaks from the rains on Friday.

that’s my colorado

and a nice sunset to boot

Saturday was Jeremy’s birthday. He turned 40, which is a milestone year because we are a decimal-based society and because he was awarded tenure a few months ago. His present is our second home in Crested Butte, so I didn’t feel compelled to get him anything else. We were going to have friends up to celebrate with a nice meal until those plans washed away with the roads leading up to our place. We didn’t want to risk the safety of any of our friends and decided to cancel. But that didn’t mean Jeremy wasn’t going to get his multi-course dinner party… I split it up into lunch and dinner since there was so much food. It’s all of his favorite dishes, which he gets to enjoy throughout the week.

salumi, charcuterie, cheese, crackers, pickled things, bubbles

pan-seared scallops on frisée, corn, cherry tomatoes with white wine reduction sauce

a bowl of lobster corn chowder

miso black cod with baby bok choy and pickled ginger

I had multiple desserts lined up for our guests, but since it was just us, I stuck with the cake. We settled on one candle per decade so we wouldn’t burn the house down. Jeremy had requested a white Russian cake and I decorated it with little chocolate-covered crisped rice pearls. Placing each of those pearls on a cake is a labor of love.

white russian cake with valrhona crunchy chocolate pearls

four layers soaked in boozy goodness

We had the noodle dish at lunch because the Chinese tradition is to eat uncut noodles on your birthday for long life. There are so many noodle dishes to choose from, but I already knew he loves this one in particular and with good reason! It has chanterelles.

pasta, bacon, chanterelles, parmesan, garlic, butter, salt, parsley, cream, white wine, pepper

What is the best way to clean fresh mushrooms? My first choice is to use a delicate brush to remove any dirt from the mushroom. My second choice is to use a damp paper towel to wipe them clean. Just promise me you won’t wash the mushrooms in water. That’s a great way to ruin a good pan-sear on a mushroom.

clean the chanterelles with a brush

slice the mushrooms

chop the cooked bacon

This is quite similar to the fresh porcini mushroom pasta, but fresh chanterelles can stand up to bolder flavors better than fresh porcini. A light sprinkle of finely chopped cooked bacon with the chanterelles creates a little magic.

prepped: sliced chanterelles, fresh pappardelle, minced garlic, parmesan, chopped parsley, chopped bacon, butter, white wine, cream, pepper, salt

add garlic to the butter-sautéed chanterelles

pour in the wine

add cream when the wine is almost completely evaporated

I bought these chanterelles for a pretty penny at Whole Foods, but I have friends here in Colorado, in Seattle, and in Norway who forage chanterelles that look far more attractive. However you can get them, they are wonderful. I dare say I may even prefer them to the porcini. You can use whichever pasta shape you like most. My favorite happens to be pappardelle. I especially love the bite and texture of the wide pasta cooked al dente.

toss cooked pappardelle with the sauce

season with salt and pepper

ready to serve

I garnish with nearly as many ingredients as there are in the sauce, but it all makes for a nice combination of salty, creamy, herbal, crunchy, tangy. First I place a small pile of the pasta and sauce on a plate, then sprinkle grated Parmesan, some flake sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, a few crumbles of bacon, chopped parsley, and then one or two slices of sautéed chanterelle. Definitely a special dish for a special occasion.

with the finishing touches

a little goes a long way

Pappardelle with Chanterelles
[print recipe]

2 tbsps butter
4-6 oz. fresh chanterelles, cleaned and sliced 1/8-inch thick (or use another kind of fresh mushroom)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup (or more) heavy cream
8 oz. dry or 12 oz. fresh pappardelle, cooked just under al dente
salt, to taste
freshly ground pepper, to taste
Parmesan cheese, grated
2 slices bacon, cooked and chopped fine
2 tbsps parsley, chopped fine

Melt the butter in a stainless steel sauté pan (just don’t use non-stick pans) over high heat. Add the chanterelles when the butter is hot and sauté until lightly browned and cooked. [At this point you can reserve a few of the nicer looking slices for garnish if you plan to go that route.] Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant (about a minute). Pour in the white wine and simmer until the wine is nearly evaporated. Add the cream and bring the sauce to a boil. Turn off the heat. Add the pasta. Season with salt and pepper. Gently toss the pasta with the sauce. Place some pasta and sauce on a plate. Garnish with Parmesan cheese, a sprinkle of bacon crumbs, parsley, and any additional salt and pepper. Top with a slice or two of the sautéed chanterelles. Serves 2-4.

more goodness from the use real butter archives

fresh porcini mushroom pasta garlic shrimp pesto pasta with roasted tomatoes bolognese sauce butternut squash pasta sauce

32 nibbles at “we are safe”

  1. Rosa says:

    Good to hear that!

    What a fabulous feast. Those papparadelle look mighty scrumptious.



  2. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar says:

    Goodness, it’s such a relief to hear that you guys are alright! And this pasta is lovely :)

  3. debbie says:

    I thought of you all when I heard about the floods in your area. So glad to hear that you are all safe!

  4. Kristin says:

    Mmm, heaven on a plate. Belated birthday good wishes to Jeremy. I am so glad to hear that you are safe, though sad to hear about all of the devastation.

  5. Rose says:

    So glad to hear that you are safe. You’ve been in our thoughts. Happy Birthday to Jeremy. What a marvelous celebration feast.

  6. Helen Guy says:

    Glad you’re safe!

  7. Toni | Boulder Locavore says:

    Glad to know you were spared Jen. We have been unscathed as well however with some sleepless nights watching what has been a dry creek bed two blocks from us over Lee Hill rage like the Mississippi River. Like you, we’ve abided by requests to stay put (and marvel at news coverage showing pedestrians walking around sink holes and blasting water to take photos). It feels all surreal right now. Glad you celebrated Jeremy in style! All the food looks fantastic.

  8. Barb says:

    So good to read that you are all safe. Happy belated birthday to Jeremy – looks like you will be celebrating “birthday week” with all that amazing food. It all looks so delicious.

  9. Eva @ Eva Bakes says:

    So glad to hear that you guys are OK. And happy birthday to Jeremy!

  10. Brian @ A Thought For Food says:

    Glad to hear you’re doing well. Was thinking of you these last few days! Happy Birthday to Jeremy and it looks like you gave him a birthday meal (or meals) he’ll always remember.

  11. Linda says:

    Add me to the chorus! So glad to hear the 3 of you are safe. Happy birthday Jeremy! What a great present you got this year, and that cake to top it off……lol.

    I am so sad about all the devastation in Boulder and all around. I have never heard any of the snotty things that people say about Boulder; I just think it sounds like a terrific place to live. Saying prayers that no more lives are lost.

    xo Linda

  12. Abbe@This is How I Cook says:

    Congratulations to Jeremy! Glad you are safe and well. Though we are in Denver, Boulder is very close to our heart. Hopefully, the rains are now finished and the healing and clean up can begin. I have no doubt that Boulderites will get this job done in record time.

  13. Ali says:

    I was wondering how you were doing and relieved to hear you are well. My heart aches for those who have been displaced and lost so many, if not all, of their things.

    Happy Birthday to Jeremy! Congratulations on the tenure!

  14. Dina says:

    sounds wonderful–so does the cake!

  15. Laurel says:

    I can see your husband and I have a lot of the same favorite dishes in common. Pan-seared scallops and pasta with mushrooms in wine & cream sauce…. mmmmm. So I’ll say he has good taste (well, obvs.–he married you!).

    What’s been happening in Colorado looks frighteningly like what we here in VT experienced during Irene and to a lesser extent this spring–but worse. Very scary and awful. I kind of can’t believe it’s not bigger news nation-wide. There is nothing like watching waters rise, and rise, and rise far beyond normal levels and wash away our laboriously constructed roads and buildings as if they were paper…. But I’m very glad that you and yours are safe and OK. Good luck to your state during these tough times.

  16. Deb in Indiana says:

    Thanks for checking in — your friends worry…

  17. Louise says:

    Relieved to hear you’re safe. Mazeltov to Jeremy – what a splendid culinary day he had!

  18. KM says:

    Good to hear that you guys are ok. The pasta looks wonderful.

  19. Cristina in Gainesville, FL says:

    Really glad to hear you are safe, we’ve been following the news closely as my husband grew up in Denver and three of our kids live in Colorado – 2 in Denver and one in Leadville. Like, they are all safe. We’ve been fortunate and have the ones that have not been as lucky in our thoughts and prayers.
    I discovered your site only about 3-4 weeks ago and absolutely love it! Great job and please keep posting your interesting articles and wonderful recipes.
    Take care, C.

  20. angelitacarmelita says:

    Relief and joy…. knowing that you guys are doing okay is a relief. Getting to celebrate a milestone birthday with someone you love… joy. Thank you for taking the time to let us know how you guys are doing. Thinking of you and your neighbors during this time.

  21. Ruth Ann says:

    I’m really glad to know that you are all safe.

  22. Sophie says:

    A very happy 40th to Jeremy! (My birthday was Sunday — he and I are nearly birthday twins!) This pasta is totally my jam, nothing better in the world than a tender, wide noodle coated with creamy sauce!… and mushrooms always get me! You did a fabulous job on his birthday feast(s). That cake! Yeow!

    So glad to hear you all are surviving. It hardly seems fair, in light of what others are enduring, but a relieving unfairness for you, perhaps. Our prayers continue to cover Colorado. xo

  23. Deb Cole Kelner says:

    Thank God you and yours are well. As a Boulder resident I am in tears reading your tribute to our fair city. We here (I’m including you) are a rare breed and the generosity and community I’ve seen in the past several days is something other places could learn from. Happy birthday to Jeremy! Thanks for the gorgeous photos and recipes.

  24. Andra says:

    Oh, I am so relieved that you three are safe. You’ve been in my thoughts. Two years ago, when TS Irene tore through Vermont, my town experienced much of what many part of Colorado are experiencing, now.
    Chanterelles are my very-best-favorites, and I am sadly accepting that their season is waning, now, I’ve been foraging for them since late June. I will enjoy my final haul, soon.

  25. swan says:

    jeremy is so loved! glad you’re safe and i promise, always, i will never trash boulder. xo


  26. JamieK says:

    And when I lived there Boulder was home to Mork and Mindy :) glad to hear your family is safe.

  27. bee says:

    i’ve been thinking about you, dear jen. glad to hear all’s well in nederland.

  28. Jill Hyde says:

    I love how you describe Boulder while sitting on your hands. Truly a lovely celebration for Jeremy! Happy 40!

  29. Beth says:

    So glad to hear you are safe. I’ve been wondering and thinking about you all.
    Happy birthday too, to Jeremy.

  30. jenyu says:

    You are all so kind – thank you for the concern and the birthday wishes and congratulations for Jeremy. Here’s hoping the recovery is faster than anticipated. I know this Colorado community has a lot of heart and is already digging in to help each other out. xxoo

    Laurel – It seems to have garnered a lot of coverage, but when we are inundated with world news of disasters, tragedies, and the like on an hourly basis, I think it’s hard to know what to pay attention to and what the true magnitude is. From one awesome state to another, thank you xo

    Andra – foraging chanterelles since late June?!?! Color me VERY envious :) xoxo

    swan – ha ha, you are very sweet. Most of the people who trash Boulder are the ones who live right next door to Boulder ;)

  31. Sarah says:

    Where were you able to find the fresh pappardelle?

  32. jenyu says:

    Sarah – I found fresh at Whole Foods in Boulder, but have found the dried variety is just as good!

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