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Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Post Chooses me and Risotto

I have realized that I cannot write a blog post whenever I choose to. It chooses me. Random occurrences of a day come together in my mind and form a post. Does not happen every day though. Just on some days. Take today yesterday for instance. I went to the library during my lunch break with the intention of writing. The library with its books and the quiet atmosphere seemed like the perfect place to begin my novel. I sat in front the computer and started the blank screen for a few minutes before a conversation going on close by distracted me. A grandma was being taught how to use her iPad, Kindle and iPhone by a gentleman who works at the library. It was heartwarming to watch her take so much interest to learn technology so that she could keep in touch with her kids and read. I wanted to document what I saw in some way. And here I am! It became the beginning for a post. Hopefully I will find similar inspiration to begin my novel. 
           After an uneventful rest of the afternoon at work, I came home and decided to make risotto for dinner. As I was chopping the onions for the risotto, I started thinking back to the first time I made risotto. It was two years or so ago and I had just met Lisa online. A common love of cooking is what first got us talking to each other but Lisa and I are long lost sisters. I am sure of it. We share so much more in common than cooking.
          But the one thing she does that I don't, is morel mushroom hunting. She goes morel hunting during its growing season. The year I met her she had managed to find a bounty and had celebrated that with morel asparagus risotto. She had described the mushroom as having a distinct nutty flavor and said that the creaminess of the risotto was a perfect backdrop for the morels. Never having heard of tasted morels or risotto, I knew right away that I had to make it.
         Morel mushrooms are really expensive and a luxury unless you go hunting for them and get lucky. I am so glad I decided to spend all that money on them back then. I haven't done it since and not sure if I will do it again. I am older and wiser with money, you see. My husband may disagree on the money old part, but I digress. The memory of having made the risotto and the taste of the morels however stay with me to this day. And I fully agree with Lisa. Morels and risotto are a match made in heaven. The best part of it all is that my parents were visiting from India then and I had been fortunate enough to share the meal with them. Sigh! Good times. It is always the little things in life that stay with you.
         Since talking to Lisa about mushroom hunting two years ago, I have wanted to do it myself. But haven't ventured out yet. I may go morel hunting this upcoming season. It am sure it will be a cold, wet, dreary great experience. The best part will be the morels or maybe the memories!? It may even inspire me to write another post. Like tonight's last night's risotto did. It gave me the middle and end for my current post.
         I have tried various versions since that first time. Creamy arugula risotto is definitely a version to make. I had cauliflower and mushrooms in my fridge. So I made risotto with them.
       I hope you make risotto. Make it suit your own taste and share it with your family and friends. And let it become a little piece in the memories that make up your life.

Lisa's risotto recipe
Lisa's image of the morel risotto. Mouth watering!
Morel, Asparagus Risotto with Baby Peas!
3T butter
2-3 green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 oz morels (sauteed in butter, reserve any liquid)
1/2 c. white wine
2 1/2 c chicken stock
1 1/2 c aborio rice
1 c (or more) asparagus chopped
1c frozen baby peas
3T freshly grated parmesean cheese

Sautee morels in 1T of butter, reserve any liquid they offer up!
Add 2T butter to skillet along with the garlic and green onion.  Sautee for a few minutes, add asparagus and sautee a few minutes more.  Add the rice and stir until all the fat is absorbed by the rice.  When the rice is somewhat golden, add in wine, mushroom liquid, peas and chicken stock.  When the mixture comes to the boil, reduce heat to medium and place a lid on the pot.  Cook for 25 minutes.  Add Parmesan cheese, salt to taste. 


  1. We certainly have discovered that we have more in common than only cooking, for sure!!! Can't wait to cook together in January...and, you know...we have to actually meet in person sometime...soon, very soon! <3

  2. Lucky me, I have the pleasure and gift of loving you BOTH~! Thank you Radi and Lisa for being so amazingly awesome. You guys are shining examples of balancing "it all". God Bless you. <3 Long Live Risotto

  3. Rad...why I am not surprised you are a great writer...I already knew of your skill behind the stove! I will try this recipe next week at the Horton household. And me too...I have caught the Morrel mushroom bug after first tasting them freshly sautéed right out of the ground (well...soaked first to remove any debris) with only butter and white wine. It was an amazing adventure with the whole family trekking through the woods in Cuba, MO only hearing about these mushrooms! John's family shares acres and acres of land by the Meramec River and an adorable cabin too! I was like a kid in the candy shop just ask my father-in-law! He found the first one and I was soooooo disappointed but he encouraged me to continue my quest as he was certain there were more! We walked along the ridge and I took his advice....just stick to the base of the big oaks. Then alas, I spotted her! A beautiful sized Morrel standing solo in the sunlight! I squealed with delight! My kids, husband and in-laws ran to me as I knelt by my fungi find!!! Victory! It truly was the most fun day of the year! Total found...17. Guess where you are going next April??? It's a date my friend!!!!

    1. How sweet of you Liza! Thank you. <3