Monday, November 8, 2010

Le Champignon

Okay, so this post is going to feel a bit like a Jim Gaffigan joke... 

About a month before Halloween I asked my 9 year old son what he wanted to be and he said MUSHROOM. Hmmm, I thought he must be joking as I thought he was a tad embarrassed when he was a pumpkin 2 years ago. But as Halloween approached I realized it was no joke. And 2 days (I am a huge procrastinator) before Halloween I was making his costume with tons of staples , glue and determination. I bought an Asian rice paddy hat for the base and red and white fabric for the top and proceeded to staple my way to something that resembled a mushroom. I then stuffed this something with an old pillow stuffing and viola...

I think he may have gotten the idea from the mushroom lady. She’s at our local farmers market and about a month or so ago we were finally introduced to her by our lovely neighbors Melanie, Mike and Gracie. We have regrettably been passing her stall for 3 years because I grew up with a mom who had a slight fear of mushrooms that don’t resemble the round bulbous ones you find in the store.  She got this fear in Istanbul because of a creepy witch looking woman coming to our home every day selling exotic looking mushrooms and asking if my brother wanted to go pick mushrooms with her. Of course, my mother politely declined and my 39 year old brother still has nightmares about that woman today.

Anyway, we finally met our local super sweet mushroom lady and she is awesome…

And we bought a basket full of her mixed mushrooms..

After bringing the mushrooms home, I was still a tad bit leery staring at the striated, shades of cream/brown and octopus like mushrooms. I finally decided to cook them and this is my super simple recipe…

Mixed Mushroom Pasta Sauce

Heat 2 tbl.s olive oil and a dollop of butter on the stove at med. heat.
Add 1/4 chopped yellow onion and yellow.
Roughly chop all mushrooms and add. Heat until soft.
Add Mario Batalli Alla Vodka sauce...this is incredible tasting with the mushrooms!
And add 1/2 cup of cream and heat till warm.
Serve over pasta of your choice and add a farm fresh salad.

My husband is a huge carnivore and previously believed that pasta sauce should always contain meat, until I made this. It is INCREDIBLE and totally edible ;)!!!!!

If any of you live in Northern VA, I highly recommend you go to the Mushroom lady on a Sat at the Courthouse farmers market and buy the mixed mushrooms or any of the mushrooms…they are all delicious!!!

Okay, so all of this got me thinking about mushrooms in design. I have never been a fan because I think of 1960’s images like this…

Yuck on so many counts!

Not my taste at all, until I was looking through an old Domino Magazine (like my mom and sister, I have a stack of old magazines next to my bed that I pick up and reread all of the time…do any of you do that?) and lo and behold I came across an image of a mushroom print in a living room right above the fireplace…

And I like it! This room looks so inviting and I would love to meet the couple and bring a basket of mixed mushrooms as a hostess gift…that’s assuming they like me and invite me to their home J.

You the reader: “Is she ever going to stop with the mushrooms?” “I think I may never come back to this blog.” “She’s kinda crazy about mushrooms!”

After all of this I began to think maybe I need a touch of mushroom in my décor, I already have tons of birds, ducks, moths, butterflies, beetles, and so what’s one more nature inspired image?

Here are a few Etsy items that I am contemplating, but I may just stick to eating them…

Little Mushroom Print $16 (could be sweet in a kids room)

Alphabet Woodland Wall Art $36.80 (another sweet kid room image)

Hope you all enjoyed! 


  1. You are adorable, wish we lived closer! Master Charlie looks delightful. Well wishes, Karen.

  2. Haa! This cracked me up. First off, your son's costume is adorable and creative, good job mommy! And yes, I hear you about growing to love mushrooms. The people who owned our former home before we did were apparently huge druggies (our neighbors had lots of stories to tell us about how our house had been used...great...) and after they moved we would still get all these bizarre newsletters and magazines like "Purple Shroomers Almanac" (not a joke!). I think they would have totally dug that ashtray pictured above.

    That experience turned me off to mushrooms entirely! Now though, I'm re-loving them. I love the flavors, and their earthier qualities. Your picks are awesome. I esp like the calender and dishtowels.

  3. Hahaha crazy! At least it wasn't a house of ill repute ;)! And thanks for the compliment...he loves his costume so much that I can't give it to the mushroom lady. I thought she would be so cute with that on selling mushrooms.

  4. From her mother: I am not afraid of exotic mushrooms, rather I feel like running right to your day market and buy some--and I will try your recipe. I am, however, afraid of amateur mushroom pickers who think they know the safe ones...When we lived in Eastern Europe in the 70's, there were always news reports of "pickers" who didn't live to taste the fruits of their efforts. Of course, my favorite mushroom is the little champignon who trick or treated at my house on Halloween.

  5. Mom..I always thought it was because of that Turkish lady. Glad I started this blog to find out the truth...maybe I'll finally find out what you did on Christmas day!

  6. Wow! So happy that you sent me the link! What a fun coincidence! :)