Friday, November 2, 2012

Hallowe’en Comments, Authors and Cons.

People have been commenting on Hallowe’en and what the kids were like the other niKung Fu Pandaght, which made me think about when we first came to Canada, 37 years ago last month, just before Hallowe’en. We knew little or nothing about it but did pick up the fact that kids would come to the door for treats. We bought a bunch of candies and having no idea how many kids would turn up, ran out very quickly, we had a few apples on hand and gave those out (were told that was a no no later) and then Matt would go to the door and say sorry to the callers but we had just arrived in Canada and didn’t know much about it. We were both much impressed when a tiny tot turned round and said something like “that’s alright and welcome to Canada, I hope you enjoy it”. Out of the mouths of babes….. As for the apples, apparently some charming people had been known to insert razor blades into apples before giving them out with the result that apples were always suspect. Its unbelievable what some people will do.

Oh woe is me, Brandon Sanderson, one of my very favourite authors, isBrandon Sandersen going to be at book signing in Markham, Ontario this weekend. Sadly there is no way I could drive all the way there just for a book signing. He is also going to be at the World Fantasy Convention too. I had never even heard that that was taking place, I would have given my eye teeth to go to that but it is somewhat expensive and is also sold out. Oh well, unless my fairy godmother pops down the chimney (not that we have one) I guess I am out of luck. Excuse me while I cry in my beer; coffee actually. He looks so young to have written as much as he has. He has completed the Wheel of Time series, the last book comes out in January although I have just discovered a prologue on By Grace and Banners Fallen which I purchased for my Kindle. I have another book of his waiting for me at the library, The Emperor’s Soul. I have suddenly got a lot of stuff to read all at once.

Here is a somewhat unusual recipe from Mushrooms Canada, we occasionally have vegetable stuffed mushrooms, but this is a new one on me.

Cranberry Stuffed Mushrooms

by Louisa Clements of Living Lou


12 white button mushrooms

60 g (1/4 cup) fresh cranberries, chopped

15 g (1 tbsp) butter

olive oil for pan

1 medium sausage link

1 clove garlic, chopped

15 g (1 tbsp) white wine

60 g (1/4 cup) goats cheese

60 g (1/4 tsp) dried sage

11 mL (3/4 tsp) maple syrup

salt and pepper to taste

15 g (1 tbsp) parmesan


1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Dice 6 of the mushroom stems, discarding the remaining 6.3. In a pan, melt butter over med-low heat. Add cranberries and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the mushroom stems and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from pan and allow to cool in bowl.
4. In the same pan, turn up the heat to med-high and add a little olive oil to coat the pan. Next, add the garlic and sausage meat. Cook and crumble until sausage is fully cooked.
5. Leaving the sausage meat in the pan, add the white wine, scraping up all the brown bits on the bottom.6. Turn off heat and add the cranberry and mushroom mixture back into the pan. Add in the goats cheese, sage and maple syrup. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Allow goats cheese to melt then stir together to combine all of the ingredients.
7. Spoon the mixture into the mushrooms and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.8. After the 15 minutes, remove from oven and sprinkle with Parmesan. Return to oven and bake for another 5-7 minutes.

Have a great day



  1. Hi Jo .. very Christmassy mushroom option - I very often do stuffed mushrooms as starters or for a buffet ... and occasionally do a large field mushroom for supper - I rather like the sound of these .. Cheers Hilary

    1. I love stuffed mushrooms, but these seem quite different with the cranberry. I love large field mushrooms too, remember going out to collect them early in the morning as a kid.

  2. That was a very polite little boy.

    I remember going trick-or-treating as a kid and getting all sorts of homebaked goodies. (My mom always made cookies.) One year someone even made popcorn balls. Can't do that anymore.

    1. I didn't know home baked goodies were used once upon a time, these days parents wouldn't let their kids try them I suppose, unless they knew the source.

  3. Sorry you won't get to hear Sanderson speak!

    1. So am I Alex. I wish I had known about it sooner.