Poets & Food

Below is a recipe from author Gabrielle Myers, author of the HIVE MIND, the story of a doomed love affair set on a farm in Northern California. Myers is as good with grilling tongs as she is with selecting the perfect word.

PRAISE FOR HIVE MIND
“In powerful lyric prose that sometimes can’t help give way to poetry…Gabrielle Myers sings her own, very personal love song to the soil under all of our feet. The voice in Hive-Mind is complicated, edgy, vulnerable and deeply in love with fig trees, cherry tomatoes, and the sound of crickets on a hundred and ten degree summer day.  In these dark, environmentally catastrophic times, we need books like this one to shake us out of our slumber, remind us where we came from, reconnect us to what we are.”
Pam Houston, Author Contents May Have Shifted

Hedgehog Mushroom, Green Garlic, Pistachio Relish

This relish accentuates the wild Hedgehog mushroom’s delicate woodsy flavor with a backdrop of spicy green garlic and pistachio’s round buttery crunch. When wilted, the creamy yellow and orange ‘shroom turns brown as the flavor gets concentrated and the water in the flesh evaporates.
Hedgehogs have a long growing season and are widely available for a wild mushroom. These fungal gems also contain high levels of vitamin D and selenium (Baldy).
Spoon the relish over the crispy skin of pan-roasted chicken breasts or thighs, marinated tofu, or a juicy rib-eye steak. You can prepare this relish ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator, but don’t add in the chopped pistachio until right before serving—this will help retain its crunch.

1.5 cups, sliced Hedgehog mushrooms
1 tablespoon olive oil to cook the Hedgehogs
1 tablespoon, roasted and chopped pistachios
1 teaspoon, chopped sage
1 teaspoon chopped Castelvetrano olive
1 teaspoon finely chopped green garlic (or shallots)
¼ teaspoon Balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil to finish
Salt, to taste

1. Heat up a medium fry pan on high heat, add the olive oil, and throw in the sliced Hedgehogs.
2. Shake the pan and stir the Hedgehogs as they cook. They will lose their liquid and then start to brown. Once the liquid is released, turn the heat down to medium. Aim for a slight golden brown. This should take about 5 minutes.
3. Right before the Hedgehogs are done cooking, add in a pinch of salt and the green garlic (or shallots), cook them for 1-2 minutes, and then add in the chopped sage for a final minute of cooking.
4. Set the pan aside to cool.
5. Once the pan is cool, add in the Balsamic.
6. Right before serving, add in the chopped pistachios.

Baldy, Meagan. “Fall in Love with Fungus.” News from Native California, vol. 29,       no. 3, Spring2016, p. 19. EBSCOhost,proxy.deltacollege.edu:8080/login?       url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=113773061&site=eds-live&scope=site.

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#writering: eat the memoir

Beth Wareham is the editor-in-chief of Lisa Hagan Books and this is a random blog for anyone interested in books, writing, editing and publishing. 

People read memoirs to find out about interesting lives. I read them for the recipes. Think about Nora Ephron. Teaching Carl Bernstein how to make the salad dressing and then walking out haunts me. (Plus, I can now make it myself.) Now that was a woman, mixing dressing and walking out of a marriage and into an  extraordinary, successful and creative life.

Below is a recipe from one of our best, HIVE-MIND by Gabrielle Myers, a late summer jewel from her blog (click on her name above):

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Summer’s last swing in California weighs in figs hanging so low you bang fruitfulness with your head as you walk down streets. Fall fruit reminds us of life that we are just stupid to ignore. Smell the fat belly hang of a fig and wake up to life. Be here with the pollen’s sticky aroma and fecund life. Cut figs into eighths, lather them in Balsamic, olive oil, and mint, and sprinkle relish richness into the fatty folds of roasted tri-tip. Live, and poison everything with your version of life

1/2 pound Candy Strip figs, washed, stems removed, cut in 1/ 8 ths
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
Salt, to taste
1 tablespoon mint, thinly sliced

1. Wash, dry, remove the stems, and cut the figs in half and then in quarters.
2. Gently place the fig bits into a small bowl.
3. Add the Balsamic vinegar, oil, and salt, and fold the ingredients together.
4. Set the fig relish aside for 30 minutes at room temperature.
5. Right before serving, thinly slice the mint and stir it into the fig relish.
6. Spoon the relish over grilled tri-tip or eggplant slabs, pan-roasted pork or salmon.

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