The Dangers of Gardening

There are many joys of gardening…spending time outdoors, the peacefulness, seeing things grow under your care, the harvest…

Then there are the dangers…muscle pulls, sunburn, bug bites, scraps and scratches…and today…

I was moving some stones to revise the landscape when I thought I felt my cell phone vibrating in my pocket.  I took it out but no it was not producing the buzz.

EEK! It was the nest of bumble bees I had unearthed moving the stones!!!

Needless to say, I moved quickly!  One of them chased me a bit but I dodged and it did not pursue me further.  I stayed far from the site for the rest of the day.

How can a bug so much smaller than I freak me out so?

But the stonework is looking better with more work to do on settling it in.

I did some more pruning and weeding and mulching of the flower beds.  I accomplished quite a bit but am only about 1/7 of the way done with the flower beds.  Sigh.  But progress.

I was tired enough that I did not want to put much work into dinner.  We had sausage and pierogis.   But I do want to share a recipe we had two days ago that we want to repeat.

Really good.  Hearty and woodsy.  The potatoes make it even better.  It was wonderful to have all the herbs growing outside the back door!

photo from

Autumn Mushroom Stew with Rosemary Mashed Potatoes (adapted from Natural Home and Garden Magazine)

1/4 c olive oil

1 lg onion, chopped fine

1 t fresh rosemary

1 t fresh thyme

1/2 lb portobellos (about 2 large portobellos), gills removed, cut into 1 inch pieces

1/2 lb chanterelles or other mild mushrooms, cut into 1 inch pieces (I did not have these so I added more portobellos)

14 oz white mushrooms, roughly chopped into 1 inch pieces

3 cloves garlic

2 T tomato paste

2 c mushroom stock

1 t balsalmic vinegar

2 T butter

Vegetable broth, to taste

2 T fresh parsley, chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add onion, rosemary and thyme and cook, covered, about 15 minutes over medium-low heat until soft and golden brown.

Add mushrooms; cover and cook 10 minutes or until soft.

Push mushrooms and onions to the side; add garlic and cook about 1 minute or until it just releases its fragrance.

Add tomato paste, mushroom stock, vinegar and butter.  Simmer 5 minutes.  For a thicker stew, add pureed mushrooms from stock.  For a thinner stew, add vegetable broth to desire consistency.

Mushroom Stock (about 2 cups)

2 3/4 c vegetable broth

1/2 c dried mushrooms

2 T olive oil

8 oz white mushrooms

2 T tomato paste

2 t dried thyme

1 c dry white wine

2 T flour

1 t balsamic vinegar

Heat broth until hot.  Add dried mushrooms and remove from heat.  Set aside at least 30 minutes until plump.

Heat olive oil in a skillet, add white mushrooms and cook 5 minutes.  Add tomato paste, thyme, wine and reconstituted mushrooms.  Bring to a simmer.

Sprinkle in flour, increase heat to high and cook uncovered about 5 minutes or until thickened, stirring often.

Add balsamic vinegar and simmer 10 minutes.  Pour into a colander and press mushrooms to extract juice.  You should have about 2 cups of mushroom stock.  Pureed cooked mushrooms can be added to the stew for thickness.

Rosemary Mashed Potatoes

2 1/2 lb Yukon gold potatoes (about 6 lg)

2 T butter

2 T olive oil

1/2 c half and half (I used milk)

2 t fresh rosemary, chopped

1/2 t salt

1/8 t pepper

Place potatoes in a large pot with cold water to cover.  Bring to a boil and cook until tender (20-40 minutes).  Drain, cover and keep warm.

Add butter, olive oil, half-and-half, rosemary, salt and pepper and crush with a potato masher or a fork until smashed but not perfectly smooth.  Add more butter, olive oil or half-and-half to taste.

To serve, place potatoes on plates, top with mushroom stew and garnish with rosemary or thyme.

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About Retired woman

retired, dealing with parents recent deaths, wondering what lies ahead with the health of my spouse, overall enjoying each day, love cooking, gardening, travel, Grandsons, family, small town life
This entry was posted in gardening, recipe, vegetarian and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Dangers of Gardening

  1. Pingback: Noble Pig: Salt and Vinegar Potatoes with Rosemary « Gastronomiquely

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