I took a closer look and saw teeny tiny legs at the front end. Gag. Then I noticed that some of the mushrooms looked like Swiss cheese, as in full of holes. And some of the holes had black dots. I squeezed such a mushroom, and another little black worm came out. I went to the pot and found lots more mushrooms with black dots. NG is a fast eater and had already finished his soup; he looked kind of sorry. I found the black worm incident disturbing and got rid of the rest of the package of mushrooms. Now I'm sorry I didn't soak them to see if the worms were alive in the dried mushrooms, or already dead, having been dried with the shiitakes before packaging.
The dried shiitakes looked perfectly normal. Neither the tops or the gills showed any sign of insect invasion; it was only after they were soaked that the holes and worms appeared. Has this ever happened to you? Does anyone know anything about this? I was just about to start cooking recipes from a newly acquired Japanese cookbook, and now my heart's not really in it. I'm not sure I can bring myself to use dried mushrooms! When I tried to find information about this online, I actually found a Web store selling mushrooms with or without worms! Can someone please explain this to me?
Notice the little blue berries in the bowl? (This is not the bowl with the mushed bananas!) They are huckleberries, and I read about them on Carbzilla's entertaining blog. She told me where to get some (at the farmers market) and we tried our first huckleberries. They look like tiny blueberries but have a much more intense flavor — delicious! Miss E loved them, especially in the huckleberry pancakes she had for breakfast.
Approximate directions for lentil stew
- 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1 " chunks
- 3 potatoes, cubed
- 1 cup green lentils, washed
- 2 medium onions, cubed
- 2 teaspoons smoked Spanish paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 6 cups water
- 1/2 cup chopped frozen spinach (or 1 bunch fresh)
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1/2 cup packed chopped parsley
- 1 to 2 tablespoons fruity vinegar (or lemon juice)
- a few pieces dried dulse (not flakes) as desired
- avocado and fresh tomato for topping
- Put the carrots, potatoes, lentils, onions, paprika, turmeric, garlic and tomato paste and water into a large pot. Bring to a boil, turn heat to simmer, cover and cook until vegetables are tender (about 30 to 45 minutes).
- Add spinach, corn, parsley, and vinegar. Break apart the dulse pieces and add. Simmer a minute or two until the veggies are cooked.
- Taste for seasonings, and add salt and pepper as needed.
- Place into bowls with rice, and top with avocado and chopped tomatoes.