It’s that time of the year again – I’ve just sat down with a gardening friend to go through the seed catalogues and put in a joint order. We save money by splitting the packets (because, seriously, who needs 500 parsnip seeds?) and then cheerfully plough the savings – and then some – into egging each other on to try things we wouldn’t otherwise have considered. This year, it looks like we’re trying black kale, celeriac and cauliflower (I did try very hard to persuade her against carrots but she’s bent on a path of self-destruction and is giving them an absolute final last chance. Fool!).
Of course I was already in a more adventurous frame of mind, as the Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall washing-up creation experiment continues, reaching something of a local maximum with the consumption, by me, without TOO much whining, of mushroom and kale lasagne. I have long resisted mushrooms (apart from chanterelles) on the grounds that a) they’re slimy, b) they’re neither animals nor vegetables and are very possibly of alien origin and c) they just look nasty. Close examination of my conscience revealed that none of these reasons were based on my ever having eaten the things although anyone who’s a properly picky eater will know that that’s largely irrelevant because in order to taste something like mushrooms you’d have to put them in your mouth and why would you do that if it’s something you don’t like? Eeeuw. But anyway, I am in fact 42 and not 4, so I was persuaded to give them a go. I was hoping we’d start on mushroom soup which would get rid of the whole texture issue but lasagne it was and actually it turns out that the texture of lasagne noodles and the texture of sliced mushrooms are more or less identical and once they’ve all been cooked together for long enough, so is the taste.
Anyway. The other half made a lovely lasagne AND did the washing up (which is verging on the heroic) and I prodded it with a fork for a bit and then ate it. And it was fine. I’m not going to stand up and declare that the first four decades of my life have been spent in the darkness of non-mushroom eating and now the scales have fallen from my eyes and their deliciousness has been revealed – but they were fine. I no longer have to pick mushrooms out of my food or automatically discard any mushroom based options from a menu. The other half is looking forward to adding such delights as grilled steak and mushrooms to our menu (he’s not really on board with the whole ‘eating less meat thing’ is he?). And I take one small step towards being a slightly more normal person, food wise.
I did feel that, on the whole, my bravery at eating it all up should be recognised so the other half made me a sticker:
If we get onto sprouts – or courgettes – I’m holding out for a medal.