The capacity for delight is the gift of paying attention

These words by Julia Cameron in “the Artist’s Way” describe so well what this blogg is all about. The attention to detail in all the small things which make up the environ of our lives, from minute to minute, hour to hour and day to day, finally turning into years and then a life lived.

Taking delight in all the little things which surround me and capturing those moments in my mind, on a piece of paper or with my camera. Little things that make me happy or sad, curious and/or reflective, at peace or outraged, surprised and wondrous. The meticulous measuring of ingredients to create a perfect meal, a lovely cake or a generous loaf of bread, which fills the whole house with the delightful smell of freshly baked bread.

The attention to detail when taking a photograph, to the light, the depth of field, what to include and what to exclude. Hoping to be able to convey my thoughts and feelings about the image to others, once it leaves its creator.

The exercise of attention becomes an act of meditation, stilling the mind, leaving me at peace with myself and all the world, at least for a little while and making me always want to come back for more of the same.

Wild mushroom risotto

Last weekend we went for a walk in the forest behind the farm.  Although winter is definitely creeping up on us, there are still mushrooms to be found, although they can be very hard to see.

Can you see them among all the green and brown? In Norwegian they are called “traktkantareller”, in English “funnel chanterelles” (Cantharellus tubaeformis).  They are very delicious, especially fried with a little butter and salt and pepper.

However, we also love them in risotto, so I thought I’d share the recipe with you. Before you start, set your plates in the oven to warm. Risotto is best when it keeps warm!

  • 400 g mushrooms of choice – it’s fine if you mixed several varieties, but make sure all are edible!
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 1 tbs un-flavoured oil
  • 1 shallot, finely sliced
  • 200 g Carnaroli or Arborio rice
  • 2oo ml white wine or 100ml dry vermouth
  • 1 l hot stock
  • 1 dl full fat cream
  • 1 big handful basil
  • 150 g shredded parmesan
Heat the butter and oil in a wide, heavy bottomed pot. Fry the shallot and half of the mushrooms until golden. Pour in the rice and stir for a minute or so until it is golden. Pour in the wine and cook until absorbed whilst stirring. Pour in a ladle full of hot stock and stir until absorbed. Continue adding more stock until all has been absorbed. This should take about 20 min. By then the risotto should be a little soupy, and the rice kernels should have a little resistance.  Add the cream and the basil, reheat, but do not boil.  Sett aside when hot. The risotto should have absorbed the rest of the liquid by the time you are ready to serve.
Fry the remaining mushorroms in a very hot pan with a little hot butter.  This should only take a minute or two.   Fill the bowls with the risotto and top with fried mushrooms and lots of parmesan.
I hope you will enjoy this!  If you can’t find wild mushrooms, the dark button mushrooms also taste delicious.
We have more recipes for mushroom risotto.  I am looking forward to sharing them with you in time. A recipe for use in the Thermomix will also follow.