Monday, 27 October 2008

Hedgerows & Agnes's Hegemony

Mr P was 'my bitch' for all of one hour last night. I did ask for a sex slave for the rest of my life, but he wouldn't go along with that, much to my chagrin, claiming that he would like a turn from time to time.

After working for around three hours making Sunday Roast (which was chicken, not rabbit) and spectacularly spitting my dummy out when #1 complained that I had poured fresh cream on to her lemon cheesecake, Mr P decided to get me out of the house to calm down and cool off - it was certainly the right temperature outside to do this, I can assure you: it was bitterly cold; at one point I could hardly see through the driving rain and the gales were whipping down the collar of my coat, freezing me to the bone marrow. But nary one word of complaint came out of me. Probably because I had to grit my teeth together so forcefully in case the chattering dislodged some important brain cells.

And then, in true English weather-style, the sun shone brightly, the wind died down and I was able to thaw out. And then I spotted the wild mushrooms growing on the Alder trees. In Britain, there is a variety of wild mushroom called the Jew's Ear. They are not a pretty sight when they cluster together in a bit of a creepy, Uriah Heep-type way, and they have a rather gelatinous quality to them. But, if you first soak them in boiling water and then add a pinch of salt, they'll rival any Truffle rutted up by a pig in Proven├žale. I had no bag with me, so I stuffed handfuls into my coat pockets. Then my gourmet imagination got to work and I picked handfuls of young nettles. I requested that Mr P found me a stray plastic bag and he spotted one which he suspected had originally been designated for dog poo and blanched slightly. But it was clean (and would only have added to the flavour anyway) and into the bag went my mushrooms and nettles.

-Mmm! Wild mushroom and nettle soup, eh? What do you reckon?

Mr P's face looked like a bulldog licking urine off a thistle.

-It'll be fantastic! This is what we said we'd do - go foraging; live the Good Life. Be Tom and Barbara!

Mr P's face remained bulldog-like.

-Honest! Full of iron, goodness, taste. It'll taste fabulous, believe me. All I need is some butter, white wine and creme fraiche.

-And if I don't like it, I don't have to eat it, do I? And you won't get cross with me? I am warning you, you know.

-Listen, if you don't like it, I'll eat raw nettles. If you do like it, you'll be my sex slave forever. OK?

Mr P declined to respond...

Well, I set to work, chopping, soaking, brewing up, having a wee nip of wine as I went along and the most wonderful smells started to emanate from that pan on hob. And Mr P started to look more and more uncomfortable.

After an hour of simmering, I blended my brew and the most wonderful mushroom-coloured broth emerged. Mr P gingerly stuck his nose into the pot and looked puzzled.

-It smells bloody lovely, actually, he confessed.

-Yup! Try it! It is lovely.

-You have washed everything haven't you? A dog won't have peed on this stuff?

-Oh, come on! How can a dog cock its leg four feet up a tree?

-Might have been a big dog...

He gingerly tasted the soup. And then had another spoonful. And another.

-That's really, really nice!

-Mwahahahaha! Told you, didn't I?

#2 was in the kitchen with us at the time. She was shocked out of her skin to see Mr P go down on both knees and beg forgiveness from me.

-Please forgive me. I am sorry for doubting your culinary expertise. I am sorry. *kiss, kiss, grovel, grovel*

-OK. So you are now my sex slave forever?

-No. I want a turn from time to time, too.

-OK. You can be my bitch, then.

-Alright. I can go along with that. Can I have a bowl later, please?

And so, the Battle Of The Hedgerows was Agnes Mildew (1) - Charles Parsnip (0). A big fat, round Zero!

And off he has toddled to work this morning armed with the chicken legs from yesterday's roast, some home-made biscuits, and Hedgerow Soup.

What more could a man ask for?


Karen ^..^ said...

Let me guess... the mushrooms are only indiginous to the UK. I've never seen them here...

The soup sounds amazing. Very good, Annie! I want a man to be my bitch for a while. Hell, I'd settle for good old fashioned LOYALTY.

Can I have the recipe? It sounds great.

This was a great post, I enjoyed it immensely. Winter time is perfect for soups, isn't it? I'm so sad that my oldest is a pescetarian. I have so many recipes for so many soups, I love a good soup on a cold raw day. Good for the soul.

MedStudentWife said...

omg.. I love it!!!

Can I come and play....

*sorry.. I didn't say that - actually I did*

muwwwhahaha... don't think I'd get the hubs to come around so easily...

Linda and her Twaddle said...

Annie, I am impressed that you would go to such effort to have a slave (sex or otherwise). Since all I can manage to conjour up in my home is 6 litres of pumpkin soup (and not very nice at that), my chances of getting a sex slave would be grim indeed.

I have to ask, do you think that the unusual appearance of those mushrooms is very - er - feminine in structure?

Annie T AKA Agnes Mildew said...

Karen: I suspect the mushrooms are only found here. That's the type of weird wild things we cultivate in the woods of the UK!

There is no recipe, I'm afraid. I just bung in anything to hand, always add a good dose of white wine and stock and hope for the best. This particular batch had the Jew's Ears, nettle tips, celery, spud, wine, stock and creme fraiche in it.

We are all souped out in this house - I currently have chicken, tomato/basil, French onion and now this one in the freezer. At least we won't starve this winter!

Med: You're just a BAD girl!

Linda: Soup is the easiest thing in the world to make. Just sling in whatever comes to hand, including flannels, old boots, kittens and pot pourri for roughage.

And yes, now you come to mention it, the mushrooms do have a rather 'pudenda-like' look to them! Front Bum Soup. Interesting...

Cunning_Linguist said...

Sexually enslaved by soup? e-mail me this recipe.

MedStudentWife said...

dang.. you caught me

Mars said...

i'd still eye the soup with suspicion....

Ian T - Parsnip no longer... said...

I know what you mean Mars.

I was expecting to get my mouth stung at any moment.

Old Scrote said...

Good to meet a fellow fungus enthusiast! I am fortunate that I have Fairy Ring Champignons (Marasmius oreades) growing on my front lawn. I dry quantities of them to supply body to my winter soups. Also, in some years, Shaggy Inkcaps (Coprinus comatus), which, when fresh, go a treat with fried bacon! I never tried Jew's Ears, though - something to look forward to.
PS What's a sex slave? Where can I get one? :-)

Annie T AKA Agnes Mildew said...

Mars: That's where you are going wrong! Never eat with your eyes - always with your tastebuds. Some of the grottiest-looking things can end up tasting marvellous. That's how I have come to eat crocodile, octopus, eland, ducks' feet, sea cucumber, snails, wild mushrooms. There are marvellous taste sensations out there!

Ian: Take heed of the above.

Old Scrote: I envy you greatly having the champignons. We have some shaggy ink caps growing at the rear of the house. There were some perfect specimens there the other day which I picked and then my youngest daughter became SOOOO distressed in case I died from eating them that I stuck them in the recycle.

The Jew's Ears are all over the place at the moment. Just get to a wood where alders abound and you will find hundreds of them. They are very meaty and really do need soaking first - but then, delicious!

Annie T AKA Agnes Mildew said...

Old Scrote: A sex slave. I forgot. The way for a woman to get a sex slave is to cook and bake and clean. The way for a man to get a sex slave is to buy her lots of pairs of high-heeled shoes.

That's how it works in our house, anyway...

MedStudentWife said...

Sounds like the way things work in our house too :0

Annie T AKA Agnes Mildew said...

Cunning: It's a secret recipe of fungi, nettles, lots of booze, wet dog hair and Band-Aids. Works a treat. Every time.

Med: Isn't it the same in every house?!

Annie T AKA Agnes Mildew said...

Karen: Just as an aside, you can't do better than a jolly good seafood soup - indeed, that is my speciality. Squid, octopus, prawns, mussels, smoked fish, leeks, mushrooms, fish & veg stock, bit of white wine, bung it in the pressure cooker, and Bob's Yer Uncle. Nobody likes to sit near me when I eat it. Especially when the octopus tentacles dangle from my mouth.