How short is too short? and how long is long enough?

Shirley Conran once famously stated that life is too short to stuff a mushroom. What rot. I am here to tell her that the effort taken to pack, for instance, some tasty herb-laden garlic butter into those little white buttons is time well spent. However, if time is short, pick a larger mushroom and the effort will be repaid in relatively greater measure.

In my shopping basket on Tuesday was a pack of four large mushrooms. I plan to stuff and bake them for lunch today. What to stuff and top them with though is the question. I seem to be spoiled for choice. I have Mozzarella – always a good topping for a stuffed baked mushroom but I also have in my possession some Feta and also some Gruyère.

The key question, I suppose, is whether to go veggie or to introduce some animal protein instead. I have Chorizo and I have bacon…

Recipe research has revealed nothing that speaks to me – not that encompasses only those ingredients to hand, at least. This requires some thought. I may have to wing it. Let me see – on the herb front, I have sage, thyme, coriander and flat leaf parsley, all neatly chopped yesterday with my new hachoir. Instantly I see the words Feta and Thyme in close approximation and I see there a happy marriage. Perhaps a few pine nuts in the mix, maybe some couscous, definitely garlic and/or onion.

Okay… we’re getting there. What shall I serve with it? Salad or Tenderstem Broccoli?

Stuffed Mushrooms with new potatoes and broccoli sounds very good to me but so does stuffed mushrooms with a rocket salad. I think that I’ll go with a basic concept of Feta, Pine Nut and Thyme stuffed mushrooms, with Rocket leaves and a spicy tomato sauce on a bed of couscous (I’ll use breadcrumbs in the stuffing). More or less.

That’s lunch sorted then. Just need to go to Lady to collect my Donaldson’s meat order from the Community Shop, then we can settle down to a day at home –  cooking, knitting, playing trains and playing music.

Sounds cosy.

In Knitting News, Mr L’s sweater is making only slow progress and I am still on the first ball of yarn, with five chart repeats done by close of play last night. I’m working towards 51 cm but am well short just now. Could this have something to do with the time that I spent on Ravelry, looking at this quarter’s Knitty patterns and seeking ideas for using the grey alpaca that arrived yesterday? Very possibly.

This? Oh, yes, I think so.

I still itch to begin the pink shawl.

(Later)

Seeing as my host’s server was acting up again and not allowing me to post this earlier, here follows an update on the mushrooms.

The new hachoir came in handy - chopping the onion first
The new hachoir came in handy – chopping the onion first
Remove the stalks from the mushrooms and chop those, put the caps in a baking dish
Remove the stalks from the mushrooms and chop those, put the caps in a baking dish
Smash some garlic
Smash some garlic
Toast oine nuts in a dry pan until... toasty. Tip into abowl, add olive oil to pan and gently saute the onion, mushroom and garlic until soft. Tip this in with the nuts. Add chopped thyme and some chopped flat leaf parsley
Toast pine nuts in a dry pan until… toasty. Tip into a bowl, add olive oil to pan and gently sauté the onion, mushroom and garlic until soft. Tip this mixture in with the nuts. Add chopped thyme and some chopped flat leaf parsley
Add crumbled Feta cheese and soft breadcrumbs to the mix, and season with pepper (caution with added salt as the Feta is pretty salty)
Add crumbled Feta cheese once the onion mix is cool and add soft breadcrumbs to the mix,  season with freshly ground black pepper (caution with added salt as the Feta is pretty salty)
Pack the mixture into the mushroom caps. I like to lightly anoint the caps with olive oil first, to aid the cooking process and I season the mushrooms too.
Pack the mixture into the mushroom caps. I like to lightly anoint the caps with olive oil first, to aid the cooking process and I season the mushrooms too.
To with a seasoned breadcrumb/parmesan mixture. I added further thyme leaves to mine for more flavour and a trickle of oil to ensure proper crispiness.
Top with a seasoned breadcrumb/parmesan mixture. I added further thyme leaves to mine for more flavour and a trickle of oil to ensure proper crispness.
 Bake at 180/190°C for around half an hour, until the mushrooms are tender and the breadcrumbs on top are lightly golden and crispy
Bake at 180/190°C for around half an hour, until the mushrooms are tender and the breadcrumbs on top are lightly golden and crispy
Served today om Wild Mushroom Polenta with a salad, a spicy tomato sauce and freshly-made flatbread
Served today on Wild Mushroom Polenta with a salad, a spicy tomato sauce and freshly-made flatbread

It’s almost 3pm now and almost dark. Pretty wild weather again but I hope there will be no repetition of last night’s thunder and lightning – which caused Mr L to leave our bed and turn off the broadband router to keep it safe.

I was very happy with my butcher’s order that I collected from the Community Shop this morning. There are two lovely Fillet Steaks that I shall keep in the freezer for an impromptu romantic dinner over the holiday. My sausage supplies are replenished (Pork, Leek and Apricot, Pork, Black Pudding and Pear, Pork, Cheese and Chutney – Donaldson’s make the best sausages, ever) and I now have way more bacon than any one family of two persons could ever cope with. Oops. I kept a pair of the Beef Olives stuffed with Haggis out of the freezer, to eat this weekend.

No knitting done today – my time was spent shopping, putting shopping away, tidying and organising my food stores, making bread dough and stuffing mushrooms. All of it worth  the effort and the time but now I should very much like to knit and to relax.

Oh, Mr L’s day was spent in cleaning the bathroom grouting. Now, I have to affirm that life is definitely far too short for that kind of activity and he is welcome to it!

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October 21, 2020 at 10:55AM

Time to go. Pastures new tonight, another revisit tomorrow. #livereportingfromtheroad #Spain #autumn2020

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