There’s something to be said for dinners alone. Dinners when you don’t have to think of anyone’s needs or tastes but your own. When you can eat whatever weird thing you want and your secret stays between you and your pantry cupboards.
While Anthony was gone I decided to try this recipe for stuffed mushrooms. Not that Anthony doesn’t love stuffed mushrooms, because he does and very much would have liked this recipe. But I was angling to eat only stuffed mushrooms for dinner, something he wouldn’t have been down for.
I decided to make this recipe on a whim, and right before I went to the store, so beyond the mushrooms I had very little of what I needed to faithfully recreate this recipe. If you’ve stuffed any vegetable before, you know that stuffing ingredients are extremely flexible. (See also: rebaked potatoes.)
Here’s what I lacked, and how I made up for it:
Shallots: A bit of onions and more garlic
Walnuts: Skipped nuts all together (I was counting on sharing with Isobel)
Parsley: I added some celery greens, but damn, I missed parsley
Dried thyme: planned on getting fresh sage from the yard
Bread crumbs: Panko. I had bread crumbs, I just like panko better.
I had originally planned on crossing our lawn and picking some of the Mexican sage that grows between our property and our neighbors’. I was really looking forward to the flavor of fresh sage, but we have been experiencing the worst Tule fog in years, and opening the door revealed a dark street (I had my lights on, and so did only one of our neighbors. Oh, and the street lamp was out). Everything was thickly coated in a shimmery blanket of cold, wet fog. I felt like leaving the comfort of my barely-lit front porch would mean entering a scene straight out of Silent Hill. With a baby.
So I decided to see what I had on hand in the old spice drawer.
Uh, yeah. It could use some organizing love.
Dried rosemary from the plant on my patio would have to do. Instead of the shallots, I used garlic and onion.
All of my spoons were too big to fill the mushroom caps. Surely, I had to have a smaller spoon somewhere?
Fortunately, Isobel let me borrow hers.
When creating food photography, be sure to include the prep mess in the background.
The photo of the end result is not that great because by the time they were ready all the available light had long since fled the kitchen room. They were good, and although I couldn’t get Isobel to share them with me (she was devoted solely to hummus at the time) she did enthusiastically shout MUSHROOM! MUSHROOM! at least five times, so I feel that’s progress.