Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Mushroom Escargot and the Right Amount of Salt

Whoops!  Hold on.  I have to wear my scarlet letter for this entry.  I think it is in the bottom of this drawer right…here…  I know:  just when we think we can forget…

I saw this recipe in the newspaper and just had to try it.  It sounds so damn GOOD! 

¼ C balsamic vinegar
½ C burgundy wine
4 cloves garlic, minced
¼ C olive oil
1 t rosemary, ground
2 t mustard seed, ground
1 T sea salt
8 oz. shiitake mushrooms
Toasted baguette slices or crackers, for serving.

Place everything except the mushrooms in a blender, process until smooth.  Stir in the mushrooms and marinate 4-8 hours.  Heat the oven to 450 degrees.  Place mushrooms and marinade in a roasting pan and bake for 10-15 minutes until the marinade is reduced back into the mushrooms.  Remove from the oven and serve with crackers, etc.. 
Don’t DO IT, though.  The recipe is faulty.  After I spent all that money on shiitakes, I followed it to the letter and ended up with the saltiest concoction I have ever created.  Inedible. 
Today, I was telling my old friend M about how badly it turned out, and she asked me why I had adhered to an obvious typo.
Well, I said lamely, I was doing it by the book. 

Yeah, I know.  What for? I stopped doing a bunch of other things by the book a couple years ago.  M and I discussed that, too.  No, she and her husband still do not feel comfortable socializing with Chuck and me.  You would think that someone of my literacy skills would have better comprehension.  The chapter (Chapter 7) on falling in love with someone who is not your husband clearly states that it is immoral. I thumbed through the index, looking for references to “kids, doing great”, “ex in new relationship” and “abuse, emotional”.  There was a short section under “abuse, emotional”, clearly stating that ending a marriage due to bullying is permitted if you complain about it for a few years first, so all the couples in your social circle understand and approve the end of the relationship.  But, if there is an affair?  Disregard the bullying clause and refer back to Chapter 7:  Affairs are Immoral.  Was this one on the book club’s list? I must have been absent for that meeting, but I am getting the feeling that they have all read it.

Thank goodness Chuck’s friends are happy for him and don’t judge me.  Our social life revolves around them.  My old friends make occasional appearances. 

I tried this recipe for Sunday dinner yesterday.  It was an experiment, so I was just going to make a small batch for my family.  But dinner-for-four grew throughout the course of the day and became dinner-for-fourteen.  This happens in my new life.  Chuck is teaching me to fly by the seat of my pants again.  I was feeling a little fussed about multiplying the making the food, the lack of drinkables in the house and other things like that.  But then I thought: about how this is one of the ways I show Chuck that I love him:  by appreciating his spontaneity and celebrating his friends.  Thinking like that smoothed my discombobulation.  Later, he thanked me and told me that not everyone would have been OK with that rapid change of plans.  Any time, Chuck. 

I know I am not a good person any more.  But because I have had two years of happiness and peace and acceptance, I can handle the consequences of fucking up when I was supposed to live by the book.
Except for the mushrooms.  If I can throw away the rule book for the rest of my life, surely I can manage to pull my nose out of a recipe once in a while?  Maybe, once I learn to that, I could take the barbs of my old friendship with a little more than a grain of salt.

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