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Dumpling Mushrooms // Cozy Grove

Some games I can play for years without ever getting bored. The entire Animal Crossing series, for example, falls into this category. Like many other people, I used New Horizons pretty much since release to escape the currently often rather dreary everyday life. I think a lot of us just needed a little holiday.

As much as I love ACNH though, at some point the excitement wanes and I just didn’t want to deal with Tom Nook, Isabelle and the others anymore. Enter: Cozy Grove. This indie camping game has been filling the void Animal Crossing left behind for a couple of weeks now. Again you land on an island just waiting to be explored and expanded. Again you help the residents, collect materials, craft things and decorate as if your life depended on it.

But and now comes the big BUT, not everything is similar. You involuntarily end up on the island of Cozy Grove and also: this place is haunted. You heard that right! The initially very colourless island is full of wandering souls with all kinds of problems. Don't worry, the bear-like residents are good-natured, but they’re also no longer really alive.

Day after day, the ghosts await you with new tasks. By completing them you will earn materials and new story snippets. A particularly important reward is spectral wood, because it feeds the talkative campfire Flamey. The brighter it shines, the larger the island and the community of spirits living on it

Your life on Cozy Grove really doesn’t lack anything, I mean, you even get mail. Every day a letter arrives for you that continues the story piece by piece, but only one a day. Overall I’d say: whether you’ll like this game depends a lot on how patient you are...or how willing you are to adjust the time to experience several days per day. A function I’d honestly like to see implemented in every game like this, but that’s just me.

You just can't finish some quests in one session and that sometimes leads to frustration. However, if you are an "Animal Crossing" veteran or patient by nature, nothing stands in your way to have fun with Cozy Grove. The 2D graphics are cute, the concept of a ghost bear island is interesting and I would actually be really happy all around...if it weren't for the mushrooms.

I don't know if it's me, but my inventory is constantly full of mushrooms! I actually wanted to make Buchteln for this cute game because their shape reminds me of the square residents, but the mushrooms forced me to change direction. I still wanted the food to be fluffy, so today I’ll share with you one of my favourite dishes. It’s a classic...with a twist. May I present: Dumpling Mushrooms!


300g Large Mushrooms

1 Egg

200ml Heavy Cream

150ml Milk

5g Ground Nutmeg

15g Fresh Parsley

2 Stale Bread Rolls

1 Onion

100ml Water




  • cut the stale rolls into 1x1cm cubes

  • chop the parsley

  • put the bread cubes in a bowl

  • add milk, egg, parsley, half of the nutmeg, salt and pepper

  • use your hands to mix everything thoroughly

  • let the mixture rest while you prepare the mushrooms

  • remove sand or dirt if present, but do not wash them!

  • pull the stem out of the mushrooms

  • use a spoon to get the gills out of the mushrooms and place them in a bowl

  • remove the woody end of the stem

  • cut the rest of it into small pieces and place it in the bowl with the gills

  • repeat the steps with all the mushrooms

  • distribute the dumpling mass into the mushrooms

  • melt some butter in a large pan over low heat

  • place the mushrooms in it, dumpling mass on top

  • add a splash of water and put the lid on

  • steam the dumpling mushrooms for 15-20min

  • peel and dice the onion

  • sweat it with some butter for a few minutes in a pan on medium heat

  • add the mushrooms and salt and pepper generously

  • increase the temperature and let everything brown while stirring

  • deglaze the mixture with cream and 100ml water

  • add the rest of the ground nutmeg

  • reduce the sauce to the desired consistency

  • take the lid off the dumpling mushrooms

  • turn them on the dumpling side and salt the mushroom side

  • roast the dumpling side until golden brown

  • serve the mushroom dumplings with the sauce

  • Guten Hunger!

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