As a youngster back in the 1950s, one of our responsibilities was to go out in the open fields and pick fresh mushrooms – and to know the good from the bad. There are hundreds of different kinds of mushrooms and some types contain the lethal toxins amanitin and phalloidin. These two toxins can be deadly and can actually destroy the liver and kidneys leading to death.

I strongly suggest that if you’re going to pick your own – or even buy wild harvested mushrooms from farmers markets – pick up a book on edible and poisonous mushrooms. It could save your life or of some other family member.


Cream Cheese Mushroom Turnovers

Pastry:
8 oz cream cheese
½ Tbsp butter
1 ½ cup all-purpose flour

Have the cream cheese and butter at room temperature. Put into bowl and beat together well. Mix in flour. Shape into ball. Chill for at least one hour.

Filling:
3 Tbsp butter
1 large white onion, finely chopped
½ pound fresh mushrooms, chopped
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
¼ thyme
¼ cup sour cream
1 egg, beaten

Combine butter, onions and mushrooms in frying pan. Sauté about 10 minutes, until tender. Add salt, pepper flour and thyme. Stir together. Add sour cream. Stir until thickened. Remove from heat and cool thoroughly.

Roll pastry fairly thin. Cut into 3-inch rounds. Place one tsp of filling in the centre of each circle.

Dampen outer half edge with beaten egg. Fold over and press edges together with fork or fingers to seal. Arrange on greased baking sheet. Cut tiny slits on top of each. Brush tops with beaten egg. Bake at 450ºF for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Makes about 3 dozen.


Steak and Mushroom Casserole

1 pound ground steak
1 egg, beaten
½ cup milk
Bread crumbs or crushed corn flakes
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 white onion

Mix steak, beaten egg and milk together. Shape into small balls. Dip in cracker crumbs (or corn flakes) and sear in frying pan. Sear onion rings. Place in casserole dish. Cover with mushroom soup. Bake in oven preheated to 350ºF for 30 minutes.


Scalloped Mushrooms

1 cup macaroni, cooked and rinsed. Add 1 can cream mushroom soup; place in greased casserole. Sauté bread crumbs with butter, then spread the bread crumbs on top of the mix in the casserole dish.

Bake in oven at 375ºF for about half an hour until heated through and browned slightly. Good with catsup.


Mushroom Tarts

1 loaf white bread
1 cup melted butter
1 Tbsp green onion, finely chopped
½ pound fresh mushrooms
1 Tbsp parsley, chopped
2 Tbsp lemon juice
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch salt
2 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp butter
1 cup cream
Parmesan cheese

Cut bread with cookie cutter to fit muffin tins and fit in to form a cup. Pour melted butter over bread and bake at 350ºF until bottoms are golden brown.

In a heavy frying pan, over low heat, cook green onion and mushrooms in butter. Add parsley, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, salt and flour. Add cream and mix. Fill shells and sprinkle with cheese. Bake until hot. This should give you approximately 20 large tarts in regular size muffin tin.


Hot Mushroom Spread

6 to 8 slices side bacon, cut into ½ inch pieces
3 Tbsp butter
1 small white onion
1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 Tbsp flour
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp lemon juice
2 cups grated cheese

Cook bacon (but not crisp) in frying pan. Pat dry and spread in pie pan. Pour off bacon drippings from frying pan. Add butter and sauté onions. Add mushrooms and sauté. Add flour and cook on low heat. Add sour cream and lemon juice. Spread over bacon. Spread cheese over top. Bake at 350ºF for 30 minutes or till bubbly.

Serve with small rye bread or crackers and enjoy.


Stuffed Mushrooms

1 tsp Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Very small white onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp chopped mushrooms with stems
1 Tbsp chopped ham
¼ cup of Oxo or Boveril mixed with hot water
Brown bread crumbs
½ Tbsp bread crumbs
10 large mushrooms, stems removed

Mix together all ingredients except the mushrooms caps and brown bread crumbs.

Fry the brown bread crumbs in pan until browned. Set mushroom caps on a circle of fried bread crumbs just larger than mushrooms. Fill the caps with mix, slightly moistened with Oxo or Boveril. Sprinkle with bread crumbs.

Bake for 10 to 15 minutes at 350ºF.

Mushroom Soup