There are, despite any physical evidence to the contrary, several foodstuffs I don’t like.
I have an incredible hatred towards peaches and any of their brethren. I don’t like fruit with fur on. It’s just not right. It’s fruit. You shouldn’t be able to stroke it.
Likewise, coconuts – there’s a reason they grow at the top of such tall trees. They’re not meant to be consumed. They’re just meant to wave around and occasionally fall off and injure members of The Rolling Stones. The height of palm tree is nature’s equivalent of putting medicines, bleach or soap capsules out of reach of children.
And then there’s mushrooms. I am not a fan.
I will eat them if they’re heavily disguised in something else. You can chop them into a pasta sauce and I’m fine, but put them somewhere where I can see their mushroomy essence and it’s a no from me.
So, you’d think I’d be okay with them in a lentil cottage pie because all the other flavourings would go towards hiding them from me.
Sadly, though, no. Because not only are these mushrooms. They’re the most evil mushrooms of all time.
Porcini mushrooms come dried in packet. They stink. Then you have to hydrate them. And that stinks. It makes, in a similar fashion to coco pops with milk, the water brown and incredibly mushroomy. And it stinks. It all stinks. It’s horrible.
I batch-cooked double the usual amount of lentil cottage pie so it can be portioned up in the freezer for nights when I am at work and Carole is at home, because she’s a freak and she loves it. I have a small issue, usually, with the smell of 25g of these evil mushrooms, but the full amount and a litre of boiling water creates a mushroom miasma which even the cutting of onions cannot penetrate.
It’s quite hard to chop vegetables and retch at the same time. Probably quite dangerous as well.
And then you have to chop the dried – now wet and slimy again – mushrooms. I have become a master of doing this with zero contact with the evil little bastards. Even the thought of it now gives me a shiver.
I’d take a peach over a mushroom any day…