29 Dec 2010, 12:46am


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  • In my napsack stash

  • I’ve got big mussels

    You know, my child is super cool.  Do you know what was on his Christmas list?  Clams.  Yes, clams.  Or, as he so cutely put it, “Mahm, I want clay-ams”.  He kind of draws out the middle syllable.  He does that with a lot of words…like “ay-er”.  Air.
    So, the other day, unfortunately, after Christmas, I went shopping and bought the clam’s cousin — the mussel.  And, I won’t make you think too hard.  I did use a Julia Child recipe.
    Now, I am not a seafood eater myself so I went out of my way to make sure my husband and little boy could feast on something they enjoy.  I can count maybe eight different times that I’ve made fish or shrimp or anything ocean stenchy.  But they love it.  
    Ok, D loves it and Cylas is enthralled with the shells.  He will eat clams, shrimp and certain fish.  Today, however, he wasn’t having it.  Either way, I didn’t let that deter me.  Even I was getting tempted to chew on these little suckers.  They took long enough to prep.  I had to scrub them and make sure each little mussel was securely closed and clean on the outside.  Then they had to soak in fresh water for an hour to two hours (so they could “disgorge their sand”).  And after all that, I still had to wash them again and drain them.
    Look at all that butter.  Horrible, I know, but it’s what makes a great recipe even better.  That’s six tablespoons.
    Finely diced onion, a bay leaf,  dried parseley(because I didn’t have fresh), thyme, pepper all boiling in one cup of vermouth white wine.
    Quickly dump them in once everything is rolling in that boiling wine.
    And, no joke, five minutes later you have mussels that have popped open and are now covered in those juices.  Sizzle.
    Steaming.  Serve.
    Demonstrate to your four year old how to eat them.  Pulling them from their foot…gulp.  Done.
    Commonnn, Cylas, don’t be a chicken!
    Alas, he admits to me that, yes, he DOES like them — for their shells.
    Next time…next time.
    And now, the recipe from Julia Child’s “Mastering The Art Of French Cooking” 
    Moules A La Mariniere * I
    [Fresh Mussels Steamed Open in Wine and Flavorings]
    For 6 – 8 people
    2 cups of light, dry white
    wine or 1 cup dry white vermouth
    An 8- to 10- quart enameled
    kettle with cover
    1/2 cup minced shallots, 
    or green onions, or very finely minced onions
    8 parsley sprigs
    1/2 bay leaf
    1/4 tsp thyme
    1/8 tsp pepper
    6 Tb butter
    Bring the wine to the boil in the kettle with the rest of the ingredients listed.  Boil for 2 to 3 minutes to evaporate its alcohol and to reduce its volume slightly.
    6 quarts scrubbed, soaked mussels
    Add the mussels to the kettle.  Cover tightly and boil quickly over high hear.  Frequently grasp the kettle with both hands, your thumbs clamped to the cover, and toss the mussels in the kettle with an up and down slightly jerky motion so the mussels will change levels and cook evenly.  In about 5 minutes the shells will swing open and the mussels are done.
    1/2 cup roughly chopped parsley
    with a big skimmer, dip the mussels into the wide soup plates.  Allow the cooking liquid to settle for a moment so any sand will sink to the bottom.  Then ladle the liquid over the mussels, sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.
    Please enjoy, and if someone is brave enough to give this a go, my husband approves with a rating of “tasty” and a big smile.  Leave a comment letting me know how it all went and tell me how you garnished it or what you cooked to accompany it.
    5 Jan 2011, 8:08pm
    by Jana Floyd


    Cla-yums, a-yer… this is how Southern children draw their words out!! "Jay-na", "Mi-yilk", "outsi-ide", etc.. :D Hehehehe! I love it!

    5 Jan 2011, 9:10pm
    by East Coast-er Momma


    hahah, he's a kick, I tell ya. Maybe I can record his little voice saying these words in his little way.


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