Purr Therapy & Lemony Mushroom Salt

 kitten :: my blue & white kitchen

A 13-week-old black kitten has kept me busy for the last week. Lots of purring and sleeping on my lap, shoulders, and chest. {Actually it's sleeping on my lap as I'm typing these words.} Minced meat & kitten milk. Running around the apartment, and hissing at my coffee mug & a power plug {quite a smart lady, I would say}. 912 grams of pure love. 

Thanks to Elsa, life is full of wonders, laughter, and cuteness. Purr therapy, as I call it.

 flavored salt :: my blue & white kitchen

I woke up to a misty fall morning. For the first time this year, I realized that October has finally come. It stayed gloomy for the whole day, rain falling every now and then. A chunky wool scarf was wrapped around my neck, as I walked into the crisp fall morning. The colors are amazing these days - shades of yellow and red. In a week or two, the trees will be bare, their branches casting long shadows on the leave filled ground.

lemony mushroom salt :: my blue & white kitchen

I like flavored salts a lot. They are ridiculously easy to make at home AND they are wonderful as edible gifts! The great thing is, you can make a large batch even a few weeks ahead. Find a few pretty canning jars and fill them with the homemade goodness. Don't forget to tie a ribbon around the jar and add a gift tag. The flavor combinations are endless - just use your imagination!

This fall inspired recipe can easily be doubled or tripled. I used dried funnel chanterelles which I still had from last year but any other mushroom variety like porcini or chanterelles would work too.

I think the best way to preserve mushrooms is by drying them. The easiest way to dry them is by slicing the cleaned mushrooms thinly {the thinner the slices, the faster they will dry}, spreading them in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet, and drying them in a 50°C (125°F) oven. Prop the oven door open with a wooden spoon to vent steam. When completely dried {they will be hard and crispy}, remove from the oven and let cool completely. Transfer to jars and cover with lids.

When stored in a dark, cool place, they will keep for years. Before using dried mushrooms, you need to soak them in water for 15 to 30 minutes. You can use the soaking liquid as well but, depending on the mushroom variety, it often has quite a bitter taste. Dried mushrooms can be tossed into soups, sauces, pastas, risottos... This way you can enjoy mushrooms all year round!

lemony mushroom salt :: my blue & white kitchen

Lemony Mushroom Salt

recipe inspired by a mushroom salt recipe of ELLE mat och vin 7/2013, p. 60
yields about 1 dl (0.4 cups) of finishing salt

zest of 1 small organic lemon
1 tbsp chopped thyme
3 tbsp fleur de sel (or a flake salt like Maldon)
2 handfuls (about 10 g) of dried mushrooms (I used funnel chanterelles), finely ground 

Preheat the oven to 100°C (225°F).

Using a mortar and pestle, grind the lemon zest and thyme to make a green paste. Add salt and mix well. Spread the salt mixture over a parchment lined baking sheet. 
Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the salt is completely dried out. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

Add the dried mushrooms and mix to combine. The salt should be stored in an airtight container. The intensity of flavor will diminish over time, but it can be stored for up to a year.