I like mushrooms; I am not sure I am very good at telling the difference between the varieties in a ‘blind’ tasting. They are good as an additional ingredient to a meal but I am not too keen on them as the main ingredient e.g. Mushroom risotto. For me, it is a bit disappointing, lacking a little something, not unpleasant but not something I would go out of my way for. Occasionally, I really fancy mushrooms on toast but, I suspect, part of the appeal is the lashings of HP sauce I spread over them.
I remember Lynn and Helen telling me about a holiday they went on in Italy, mushroom picking. Helen was incredibly enthusiastic so when Liz and I came across information about a mushroom farm in Lower Packington we thought it might be worth a visit, especially since it had a shop. The problem with mushroom farming on a commercial basis is that it is done in the dark. Basically, if you are visiting a mushroom farm, you are visiting a mushroom shop. A mushroom shop sells mushrooms, not necessarily the most exciting thing to look at if you are not a cook. I remember the shop in Lower Packington having a lot of packs of different sorts of mushroom and some jars of dried mushrooms. Liz bought some dried mushrooms for Jai, who is a vegetarian. The only other things on sale were (a) mushroom compost for which I had no use (b) some mugs which weren’t very exciting (c) a few recipe books and (d) the tea towel. The fact is that I have seen a greater variety of mushrooms at West Bridgford Farmers Market than in Lower Packington, which was really disappointing but probably because most of their stock is being sold elsewhere, rather than in the Farm Shop, probably at West Bridgford Farmers Market!
I got excited about the tea towel because I wasn’t excited about anything else, so I bought it on a whim. Given some thought I would probably have passed it by. It is, however, designed by Richard Bramble, a well known artist who does a lot of work around foodstuffs. It was very expensive at that time; actually it is still one of my most expensive tea towels. Take a look at the tea towel. It is boring, uninspiring and put together in the most annoying way. The tea towel has 10 different sorts of mushrooms, 5 down each side of the tea towel length-ways. So if you hang it up you can’t see the picture of the mushroom, or read its name, because it is sideways on. I like an informative tea towel so I think that a bit more information on it would have considerably improved it.
The learning for me is not to be fooled into buying a tea towel because it is there. I need to be more careful in the future. But, let’s face it, that is unlikely to happen.
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