I cannot imagine having much more fun than slaving away in the kitchen with some of the most interesting people that I know -- mushroom hunters. I am a member of the Sonoma County Mycological Association http://www.somamushrooms.org and every year they put on a camp. This year, and last, I had the privilege of working in the kitchen, producing a gourmet meal for the 200 or so campers.This year the theme was Mexican. (More about that later.)
I was the sous chef (same as last year) to Patrick Hamilton, the Mycochef. We were assisted in the kitchen by a great cast of characters, including Mark Todd, a.k.a. The Cheese Dude. Add in me, The Veggie Queen, and you realize that it's good to have a special name in the kitchen. Fellow family camp head chef, Dee Dumont, was of great assistance. But special name or not, we had lots of help and it was needed.
Prior to camp, our idea of a Mexican-themed meal drew complaints. While in the kitchen, making mini-candy cap tamales, all hand-tied, I was wondering who thought that up? (It wasn't me.)
Our meal was way beyond rice and beans, and in my opinion, the slaw with candied pumpkin seeds and oranges along with the roasted veggies and chard, saved the day. There was far too much meat for my liking but it must have been good because people loved the food, and said that there was too much of it. And there was but what's wrong with that? We had leftovers to go which many of us liked.
It must have been the Lagunitas Brewing beer donation that had the bunch of us working so hard.
In the few moments that I had outside the kitchen, I did get to speak to people. An interesting discussion ensued with Jeanne Porcini (her official mushroom title) about avocado toast. What? you might ask. It's toast that has avocado on it. I eat it for breakfast. She gave it to her kids to eat, years ago, and wonders why it's not more popular. I do, too, since it's what I eat at least 3 days a week, as long as I have avocado around.(I only eat one a week for my waist's sake.)
Now that they say that a large part of the avocado crop was frozen, and the price will skyrocket, I will likely switch to my other favorite morning meals-- either Bob's Right Stuff Cereal made my special way in the pressure cooker or my pressure-cooked 3 minute veggie tofu conglomeration served over grains, or not. I usually eat a savory breakfast for it makes me feel better.