A guest blog from a mother who has recently fallen in love with mushrooms.
This is a tale of how nights spent feeding my first daughter at 3am in the morning led to me stumbling across a TV schedule that changed my family’s eating habits.
Desperate for an alternative to Jeremy Kyle and Jerry Springer during the hours of darkness, I embarked on a journey of discovery.
Come Wine With Me, (or Dine, whichever you prefer yourself) and Masterchef, led me into a new and very daunting area that was, the kitchen.
I’m not ashamed to admit that pre-motherhood I struggled not to trigger next door’s smoke alarms by making toast
- I exploded eggs in the microwave
- set fire to the foil around the butter trying to soften it
- burned the bottom out of numerous saucepans by getting preoccupied on Facebook
But now things were different. I had become a mum, and by ancient law (and the power of Greyskull), mums would be domestic goddesses.
I also quickly realised that as a modern mum, I should evolve into a career-driven, perfectly balanced, nutritionally aware, super-fit, disciplined, highly competitive lady; if I could only stay awake long enough to absorb the enormous amount of advice offered in the weeks after the birth of my first child.
Getting fresh food delivered
My first fresh vegetable home delivery was the biggest challenge to date. Surrounded by empty ice cube trays, ready for homemade baby food, I coolly ticked the box ‘Surprise Me’.
I mean how hard could it be? On arrival of my family-sized Veg Box I didn’t feel so clever. The only thing I recognised was a brown paper bag filled with little button mushrooms. So I cheated: I photographed the rest of the offending vegetables and put them on facebook for identification. I knew that this was breaking all the rules of the domestic goddess, but frankly, I was past caring.
It turns out that the foreign looking object in the centre was a butternut squash, while three courgettes and a large aubergine also took their place in the cupboard under the sink.
Given the option to sink or swim, I think I doggie-paddled that day. Armed with Annabel Karmel, who deserves a title in my opinion, I created my very first child-friendly mushroom risotto.
So for me, the mushroom became not only a comfort food, but a comfort zone; a beautiful, calming rocking chair with Sky Plus and tiny fingers curled around my hair. I could be a super-mum tomorrow, or perhaps the day after.
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 onion chopped finely
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1 garlic clove chopped
25g brown mushrooms
175g risotto rice
1 & 1/2 pints of veg stock
100g white mushrooms
1 tbsp grated parmesan
Fry the onion, garlic & parsley in the butter until soft. Add the rice & chopped mushrooms to the pan, then add a ladle of stock, stirring all the time. When the rice has absorbed the stock, add more and repeat until all the stock has gone (about 20 mins). Stir in the cheese, cover, allow to cool (puree if necessary) and serve.
Let me know what you think, have you recently started taking cooking seriously?