That was a quick seasonal change, wasn’t it? Over 24 hours?
I should have been really miserable yesterday. Utterly miserable. I had a horrible cold (I still have it). I sneezed so many times in a row on the plane back from Stockholm that a neighbouring German businessman looked at me with horror. I can only imagine that I must have sounded like an ebola monkey and looked worse. Grim it was, and I was not happy about it.
Returning to work yesterday, I was so congested as to be inaudible. Scratch that, more indecipherable. The cold and my vowels had co-conspired, consonants were absent, and someone actually asked me if I was speaking Irish. No, I am not, but I think I might have started talking to myself in frustration.
Roll on yesterday evening, as I dragged my corpse north towards home. I had plans to go to a gig (Iron & Wine if you are interested), but it seemed silly and unfair to anyone near me. So, like a melting sugar mouse, I pushed further North, waiting for the bus in the rain with at least 80 other people. Thinking, I quite like this change of seasons.
I know! It surprised me too. However, I do love the impending evenings that are crisp outdoors and toasty inside. I love the winter coats and snug boots. Thick tights, mulled wine, warm jumpers and toasty dresses. I was excited at the prospect of all of this, and even more so by the autumnal food that I would cook.
Last night, I wanted something earthy and delicious that smacked of the seasonal change and raised two fingers to the rain. That I would eat while listening to the thundering pitter patter on the flat roof. A dish that would befriend a nice glass of red wine and ease me to my bed and to sleep. That would take no more than 15 minutes to cook.
I had lots of wild mushrooms that I had bought in Stockholm, papardelle, garlic, herbs and cream. I had bread from the local Jewish bakers. A big white crusty loaf, warm from the oven. I wanted something simple and bold that would take no time at all with aroma, crunch and comforting carbohydrate. Slippery pasta, and crispy toast. So, what to do?
It was a bit of a carb feast in the end. I started with a super quick toast with wild mushrooms and herbs and followed with a wild mushroom papardelle. No recipes required, a brief description is all you need. The first will take 5 minutes and is comforting to the point of distraction. the second no more than 15. Enjoy!
(Amounts will serve 2)
Wild Mushrooms on Toast: some bacon or lardons (about 2 slices of streaky or pancetta if you have it), fried until not quite crispy, a chopped clove of garlic added for 30 seconds, a couple of handfuls of mixed wild mushrooms fried for a few minutes, a lick of butter and/or cream with some chopped fresh parsley and/or thyme to finish. on toast. Et voila.
Papardelle with Wild Mushrooms: some bacon or lardons as above, followed by garlic. A couple of handfuls of mushrooms. A splash of white wine. Reduce over a moderate heat until the alcohol is cooked off, a couple of minutes should do. A little more cream than before, enough to coat the papardelle (which will have cooked by now). some chopped fresh parsley and/or thyme to finish. Add the papardelle and a little of the cooking water. Eat immediately.