I am working on marketing for new projects this week. I pulled out this musing from my recent archives; it is a post from this past summer. Beauty may surprise us when we choose to be creative and resourceful with what we have. How have you found that to be true in your experiences? Enjoy!
I know what will happen to the mushrooms in the back of the fridge if I don’t do something with them quickly.
The poor things will go from gorgeous to gross in just a few days flat. Seeing it had already been a few days (well, more like a week if I am going to be transparent about the matter), I know their lives are short lived.
I had been seduced by the sale price nearly a week before as I shopped to cook dinner for a friend’s birthday party. Three guests were coming over and my heart was set on mushroom pasta with oodles of mushrooms and three kinds of cheese- yum! I got carried away buying mushroom- actually, a little carried away with the dinner altogether, spending more than I anticipated or meant to.
Which means I need to pull in the reins on my spending this week. The week had drained me- in more ways than one. If I turned to retail therapy for comfort (and I do consider wandering through a huge grocery store a soothing remedy) it would spell danger for my pocketbook and my emotions all together, threatening to send me into a later-to-be-regretted shopping extravaganza!
Instead, I opt to be a creative cook with what I have in the kitchen.
I decide on spaghetti sauce. No meat available- no problem, I have tons of mushrooms, a lovely substitute for meat in a spaghetti sauce. Looking around I found shallots, yellow onions and garlic. In to the pot they went after a tearful session of chopping and mincing. I sautéed them in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil.
As the onions cook, I slice the mushrooms- all of them- and add them into the pot which is beginning to smell rather nice. I add just a dash of salt and pepper, and head out to the balcony on my second story apartment building.
The late rain and lack of sun wasn’t doing wonders for the humble potted garden, but nevertheless, the herbs are putting up a good effort. I really haven’t had much experience cooking with fresh herbs but decided to take the scissors and cut the middle stalks (I thought I had heard about that somewhere.)
Snipping some sweet basil and oregano stalks, I zip back into the kitchen and minc them, removing the stalk. Enjoying the small pile that had developed, I throw those into the pot too, after adding a can of petite cut tomatoes and a can of tomato sauce.
Adding a bit of dried rosemary, thyme and a touch of garlic salt, I turned the oven down. Soon everything was simmering softly.
The aroma reminded me of my mom’s Italian cooking- filling the whole house for hours as pots bubbled and gurgled on the stove.
Looking up, I gaze at the gorgeous artwork of my Grandpa- the beauty of La Chinqa Terra and the grace of the canals of Venice.
I stop and breathe deeply. I dream of going right to those scenes where Grandpa stood- gathering material for his artwork.
Who knew pulling out near-expired mushrooms would push me into moments of such richness. The richness of family and memories and the legacy I have been left. The richness of taking just what I have and creating it into something new.
Just like my mom in the kitchen. Just like Grandpa at his easel.
I taste the sauce. It is delicious.
So is this day.