Dutch author Will Huygen, with illustrations by Dutch painter Rien Poortviet, and it was simply titled Gnomes (first in a series and the basis for the cartoon). Many years later, after I came into the world and tackled the nearby fantastical books including Mom's Gnomes, pouring again and again over the images of the tiny underground houses and the tiny underground furniture and the tiny nature-loving occupants and their exploits in the large world, my mom handed the book down to me, to go alongside my copy of The Flight of Dragons, The Goblin Companion, Giants, and similar books. When Catherine, Carrie, and I decided to do this collaboration, I pulled Gnomes from its place on the shelf and turned the pages with my own daughter, pointing to the beautiful, detailed images and explaining the scientific-observation-like text. From one generation to another, to another.
|Screen shot from the "David the Gnome" cartoon.|
2 Tbsp. Butter
~3 Cups Chopped Assorted Mushrooms (keep a couple whole to use as garnish)
Pinch of Salt
1/2 Onion, diced
1 Tbsp. Flour
1 Peeled Clove Fresh Garlic, chopped
Bundle of Fresh Thyme + more for garnish
3 Cups Vegetable Broth
1 Cup Water (+ a little more if you want a thinner soup)
1/2 Cup Heavy Cream + more for garnish
Ground Black Pepper + Salt, to taste
Ground Nutmeg, to taste
Ground Sage, to taste (optional)
1. In a large pot over medium heat melt the butter & then add the mushrooms & pinch of salt. Cook until you can see the juice from the mushrooms & then turn the head to medium-low & cook, stirring occasionally, until the juices evaporate & the mushrooms turn golden, about 20-30 minutes. Set aside the whole mushrooms to use later.
2. Stir in the diced onion & cook until tender, about 5 mins, & then stir in the flour to coat the mushroom & onion mixture well. Cook for another 2 minutes or so & then add the garlic & bundle of fresh thyme. Next, pour in the broth & water, stir, cover, & simmer on low for about an hour.
3. Remove the bundle of thyme & then pour the soup in batches into a standing blender to puree until smooth (pour what you can into the blender & then pour what's left into a big measuring cup or bowl to free up the pot). Pour the pureed soup back into the pot & then stir in the cream. Season to taste with salt, pepper, nutmeg, and optional sage. Garnish with cream (if you shake a little bit in a bottle it'll get thicken), the reserved mushrooms, & a couple sprigs of fresh thyme.
Nut & Seed Bread
1 1/4 Cup Almond Flour
1/2 Cup Hazelnut Flour
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 Tbsp. Chia Seeds
1 Heaping Tbsp. Sunflower Seeds
1 Heaping Tbsp. Pumpkin Seeds
1 Heaping Tbsp. Pine Nuts
2 Eggs, beaten very well
1 Tbsp Honey (preferably flower honey)
1/2 Cup Granny Smith, Unsweetened Applesauce
1 tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
1. Preheat your oven to 300ºF & line a 6"x9" (or similar size) pan with parchment paper & then spray it with non-stick spray. In a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients, including the nuts & seeds. In a separate bowl vigorously beat the eggs & then whisk in the other wet ingredients.
2. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry until fully moist & combined & then spread the mixture evenly into the prepared pan. Slide the pan into the oven & bake for about 45-50 minutes, or until the bread is a deep golden brown & springs back under your touch. Remove & let cool. Great toasted.
Simple Berry & Nut Salad
1/2 Cup Fresh Raspberries
1/3 Cup Fresh Blackberries, cut in 1/2, or 1/4 if very large
1/4 Cup Fresh Blueberries
Sprinkling of Chia Seeds
Sprinkling of Pine Nuts
Handful of Baby Greens
1 Tbsp. Honey
1 tsp. White or Rice Vinegar
Pinch of Salt
1. Place the greens in a bowl & plop the berries & nuts on top. In a separate bowl whisk together the honey & vinegar with a pinch of salt. Just before serving, drizzle the honey/vinegar mixture over the salad or save it for individual servings.
Note: This recipe is pretty open. You can toss in more amounts of the ingredients if you'd like to make a larger salad. You can throw in cut strawberries if you want & use different nuts & seeds. Just go to town on it! Feel free to add some feta or other crumbly cheese too!