This week I’m your mushroom cheerleader. I know this is a little brazen, but bear with me. If you’re on the fence about mushrooms, I have two recommendations. 

1. Make this new recipe for Umami Mushroom Lo Mein. Why? Mushrooms and noodles were made to go together; add a sauce spiked with hoisin, sesame oil, mirin, oyster sauce, ginger, and garlic and you truly have an umami bomb.

2. Read Brown is the New Green: Versatile and Flavorful, Mushrooms Might as Well Be Magic. Why? Because learning to cook mushrooms properly – browning them well for flavor, letting extra moisture escape during cooking, even cutting them in the best shapes for maximum browning – is the key to enjoying them. When mushrooms brown, they undergo something called the Maillard reaction, a chemical process that transforms the carbohydrates and amino acids in mushrooms, directly producing the intense flavor compounds that we now recognize as umami.

Susie Middleton

In the article (which appears in print in the latest edition of Martha's Vineyard magazine), you’ll also find flavor-pairing ideas and tips for cooking with the four mushroom varieties that I think are most versatile and easiest to find on the Island – creminis, shiitakes, portobellos, and oyster mushrooms.

Susie Middleton

Yesterday I went to Ghost Island Farm looking for the big meaty shiitakes they sell, and I came away with more than mushrooms: fetching carrots in all the pretty colors, perfectly vase-shaped tiny baby bok choys, and fresh pea shoots grown right in the farm stand.

I stopped by Morning Glory, too, and couldn’t resist a Caraflex cabbage, some fingerling potatoes, and a few Honeynut squash. Far too many vegetables for one week, but they’ll hold, and at least the fridge looks colorful and promising again, now that the Thanksgiving leftovers are gone.  

Susie Middleton

I did make a simple turkey stock from the remains of our tiny bird, and I’m thinking it’s the perfect backdrop for a fennel, cabbage, and potato soup. I’ll let you know how that goes when I make it. Oh, but speaking of fall vegetable soups (and mushrooms), I’m just remembering how delicious this Parsnip Mushroom Soup is. 

Susie Middleton

By the way, if you’ve never had a Caraflex cabbage (the pointy, cone-shaped cabbage in the photos above), pick one up if you can. They’re sweeter than other cabbages and packed with those ruffly, crunchy interior leaves that are the best part of any cabbage. It would be a great choice for Quick Limey Slaw, but you could also make Roasted Cabbage Wedges with Apple Cider Butter.

Susie Middleton

The rest of the bounty? This recipe for Braised Fingerling Potatoes with Crispy Sage and Garlic has a great technique for cooking fingerlings.

Susie Middleton

Roasted Carrot Fries with Dipping Sauce might be a quick side some night this week.

Susie Middleton

The baby bok choy, the mushrooms, and the carrots could all go in the Pollan Family’s Udon Noodle Soup with Miso-Glazed Vegetables and Chicken.

Nicole Franzen

I haven’t forgotten that cookie baking season is upon us. I’ve got a new recipe from Abby Dodge coming for you next week, but in the meantime, we can start by making her two fabulous slice-and-bake cookies. Follow that tip for using a paper towel tube to cradle the log of dough while it chills.

Susie Middleton

The Butter-Pecan Slice and Bake Cookies really are one of my all-time favorite holiday cookies.

Susie Middleton

And the Lemon Ginger Butter Cookies are winners, too. Have a great week, and I’ll see you on Instagram @cookthevineyard.


For more holiday recipes, check out our Holiday Recipe Collection.


What's Open, What's Happening

If you're looking to make a dinner reservation or wondering which farm stands and markets are open, visit What's Open on Martha's Vineyard for regularly updated listings.



  • Salt Rock Chocolate Co. is popping up in Menemsha outside of Pandora's Box every Wednesday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (or until sold out) through December 20.



  • Morning Glory Farm is the latest business to join the Island Eats program. As of this week, Morning Glory is stocked with the reusable and returnable stainless steel eco-friendly containers you can access for your carry-out by joining the program.
  • The new section of the Stop & Shop in Edgartown has opened, and it already is a vast improvement for the store. (They now are working on the older part before the whole thing can be completed.) You'll want to check out the new area. One tip: Stop & Shop always has the best price on the Island for Parmigiano Reggiano; but it's even better now - on sale for $17.98 per pound.