Weather: 4 degrees
What I’m listening to: Shape of You, Ed Sheeran
It’s amazing how the food preferences or dietary needs of those around us can shift the way we cook, sometimes without our even realizing it’s happened. One member of our family is allergic to avocados. Avocados are one of my all-time favorite ingredients and I used to buy them frequently, probably once a week. I have also loved using avocado oil for cooking, particularly for searing meat or fish. Now I hardly ever have avocados around the house and I haven’t bought avocado oil in at least a year because I don’t want to inadvertently make anybody sick.
Earlier this week. my partner kindly brought home a pizza with loads of tasty toppings on it, accidentally including mushrooms. All three of the kids don’t typically enjoy mushrooms. My oldest son walked over to me, plate of pizza in hand, and asked me if I would get all the mushrooms off of it for him. While I was tediously searching for every last speck of mushroom, it occurred to me that I haven’t made a recipe with mushrooms at home in probably years. As best as I can tell, the last recipe I wrote that had mushrooms in it was in 2012. Unbelievable. I love mushrooms. Without even realizing it, I had virtually banished the ingredient from the house because of the kids and their preferences.
I headed into the store the next day with purpose, making a beeline for the mushrooms. I was determined to make a mushroom dish, something very grown up and sophisticated and not give a rip if any of the kids in the house would like it (but let’s be real – I always give a rip. But at least I tried.). I made myself a big bowl of bowtie pasta in a velvety goat cheese sauce, mingling with slightly wilted spinach, topped with crispy bacon and lots of sliced mushrooms that I browned in a pan with a little of the bacon fat. Three words: to die for.