Sunday, September 2, 2007

Greetings Friends

Here we are at the six-month mark at Black Trumpet, and our excitement continues unabated. Summer wears on all of us in this seasonal seaside hamlet of Portsmouth. We have to share our beaches, shops and restaurants with the rest of the world, and articles in nationwide publications continue to herald Portsmouth as an "undiscovered gem." Pedestrians pack the streets, slowing the already-congested car traffic. This summer, one out-of-town visitor cursed loudly at Denise for driving down Ceres Street, yelling, "Hey lady! It's a one-way!" Even newcomers to town realize that our little alleyway of a street is two-way, and that--because no single individual can own a public thoroughfare--a modicum of manners is required to negotiate the narrows.

Just when you think the July/August heat and humidity have moved in to stay, the first cool breeze of September refreshes our hard-working bodies and minds, promising a return to the village we know and love. We fall into a slower paced routine and recuperate before the holiday season sets in. Familiar faces unseen since June emerge, seemingly from the woodwork in our winebar. These are the locals who have built our reputation and stood the test of time with us under three different names. Of course, the faces change, but their importance to our village remains constant.

September, alas, is also a time of evanescence. Leaves being to wither and fall. We will harvest our last garden vegetables in September. Perhaps most importantly, we will pluck countless pounds of delectable edible mushrooms from the earth and put them on plates in every form imaginable (except ice cream).

Already this year, I have harvested--with help from my daughter--the following species, whose names are almost as rich as their flavors:

  • Purple-gilled Laccaria

  • Hedgehog mushroom

  • Horn-of-plenty

  • Fragrant Black Trumpet

  • Chicken-fat Suillus

  • 5 Boletes, including Kings

  • Chanterelle

  • Trumpet Royale

  • Chicken Mushroom

  • White Coral

  • Lobster Mushroom

We will return to our rigorous once-a-month wine dinners (beginning with a first-of-its-kind "Beer and Game Dinner" in early October. Keep an eye on our website (or subscribe to our email newsletter) for dates.

We wish a peaceful September to you all,

Evan Mallett