Tuesday, September 18, 2007

poison mushrooms

My mother’s horrific childhood led her to equate food with love; no-one she loved could ever eat enough. The only reason I didn’t balloon in weight as a child was because in self-defense I became a very fussy eater: every mealtime was a battlefield. Consequently if I found something – anything – I liked it would be mine immediately and always and until I reacted against it (as eventually I always did).

Once at some Polish community event I tasted pickled mushrooms and really really liked them. I was encouraged to eat way too many and was afterwards violently ill. Projectile pickled mushrooms everywhere. Just the thought of pickled mushrooms makes me shudder even today.

Which brings me to Nigella Lawson’s new book, Nigella Express. I tried her raw mushroom linguine last night (by coincidence she also did it on her tv show). It’s a very nice dish, and as fast as promised. I tucked in heartily at first until I started feeling a bit odd about it – very slowly the thought emerged that this was reminding me of something . . . . yaaargh! The dreaded pickled mushrooms!

It’s curious the connection between mind and stomach. My body remembered the mushroom issue before I consciously did, but once my mind made the connection my stomach immediately went into upheaval mode.

Sorry Nigella; not the best review for the book. Hope to cook more this weekend. Meanwhile, it’s baked potato for dinner tonight.

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