Spring cycling

2009-03-28

in Daily updates, Ottawa, The outdoors

Shamrock leaves

Today was an example of the best cycling weather Ottawa provides: bright and a bit cool. With a light jacket, slow periods in the shade were comfortable. With more ventilation, hard runs out in the sunshine were.

Crisscrossing the city, I managed to pick up one of my favourite mushrooms (Pleurotus eryngii) for dinner. They aren’t terribly flavourful, but I like the texture and they fry up most enjoyably with butter and garlic. I also got fancy bread in the Glebe and black bean dip for it in the Byward Market. I got a good bit of reading done, and I got some of my first real cardiovascular exercise since fall. Cycling along the canal provides a nice illustration of the power of sunlight. The areas that get sun for a fair period each day are entirely clear, while areas of northern exposure still have nearly a metre of snow and ice piled upon them.

Spring is certainly a dramatic transition in Ottawa. Judging by the number of square centimetres of exposed skin getting exposed to sunlight today, as much vitamin D was probably produced in the last 12 hours as in the preceding 12 weeks.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

oleh March 29, 2009 at 9:08 am

Sounds like a great ride.

Weather in Vancouver also is promising for this morning. Maybe a good day to get out on El Mago (my Merlin) who has been sitting in my stable as I relied on Red (my hybrid) and Tempo (my rain bike) through the winter. Loops of Park Drive seem in order as I never tire of it.

Definitely to season to get out. Thanks for inspiring me to do so.

Emily March 29, 2009 at 10:16 am

Ah, the majestic pleurotus eryngii. I Wikipedia’d you well. Did you find it in the wild? Or at the market?

I’m glad to hear you had such a good cycling trip, and that your vit.D is being replenished.

.. Spring! :)

Magictofu March 29, 2009 at 11:42 am

I doubt Milan found king trumpets in the wild in Ottawa. As far as I know these do not grow in the area and it is still too early for mushrooms. The first interesting harvest will occur in about 6 weeks with morels. There will be a few oyster mushrooms too (they are in the same family as pleurotus eryngii).

Can’t wait for chanterelle season in july!

Milan March 29, 2009 at 3:24 pm

I like Pleurotus eryngii more than ordinary oyster mushrooms, largely because of the texture.

I need to find a pleasing way to cook the dried chanterelles I have in my cupboard.

Magictofu March 29, 2009 at 6:46 pm

Dried chanterelles are good in sauces.

An easy and delicious way to cook dried chanterelles and almost any dried mushroom is to soak them in hot water for 30 minutes; then gently cook shallot in a pan with a little bit of oil; add white wine or sherry or marsala or even brandy; reduce by half; add the mushrooms with their juice (if you are a perfectionist you will pass the broth through a coffee filter to remove impurities); reduce again by half; add cooking cream; reduce until your sauce covers the back of a spoon; then add chopped green onion and parsley. It goes very well with light meat like chicken but vegetarians will probably prefer pasta or potatoes.

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