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I cooked a Vegetable Madras curry today and made naan breads to go with it. A tasty mix of onions, potato, tomatoes, peppers, cauliflower and mushrooms went into the curry. Mr L has a thing about potatoes in curry and swears that they don’t cook properly, no matter what you do. I set out to prove him wrong, which I did… kind of. Not only did my potatoes cook but they cooked too far and disappeared into a mush. Oh, well.

Today’s featured image is a shot that I took of the mushrooms on my chopping board.

I am passionate about mushrooms. I love everything about them, the taste, the texture of cooked mushrooms, the smell of them raw and their velvety feel.  Such an adaptable foodstuff. I buy them in quantity, in t he 750 gm box from the supermarket and I happily throw them into just about anything that I make, and often use them as the central element of a dish: mushroom curry, mushroom risotto, mushroom soup, sweet and sour mushrooms, mushroom sauce for pasta, mushroom pizza. I love them raw in salads but most of all I like them fried in bacon fat and eaten with the  bacon. It’s a formative, childhood thing.

Mushrooms were in short supply when I was small and were definitely a luxury, not the cheap and commonly available food that they are now. They turned up occasionally on the Sunday breakfast table. Mum bought them by the quarter pound, wrapped in a white paper bag and always peeled them before cooking (I never take the skin from a mushroom, ever). They were simmered in a little milk, as this stopped the mushroom from shrinking and made them go further, according to Mum. The 4 ounce bounty was spread across five plates, the milk making the toast or fried slice that was supplied to cushion the mushrooms grey and soggy. Sounds awful, I know, but it was such a treat at a time when luxuries were few and far between. On the rare occasion that the mushrooms were fried, they were fried to a shrivelled leathery-looking thing, but were still the most delicious thing that I could ever envisage at that time. I recall swearing that when I grew up and was rich, I was going to dine on mushrooms every day.

I never made it to being rich, but mushrooms ceased to be a luxury and I pretty much eat them 4 or 5 days a week – not far from that childhood ambition.

As for my chopping board, that has been with me for 40 years. I’ll tell you about that another day.

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