There is something about coincidences. It was a subject recently discussed between myself and a customer in the nursery. She believes that if a subject, issue, matter comes to your attention three times it must be acted upon. Something has come to my attention thrice, within hours, and I feel compelled to act upon it. It’s not life changing or earth shattering, it may not even be interesting but I am going to take a punt on it anyway. Elizabeth David and her coriander mushrooms. I know from my experiences growing and selling culinary herbs that coriander is a popular cooking ingredient particularly favoured by my web guru Ian. Several coriander plants left the nursery yesterday, bought by excited customers delighted to find this herb available on our premises. Personally, I can’t stand the stuff. It’s an association issue brought about through suffering terrible morning sickness with the eldest broccoli child. At the time I was working in the nursery surrounded by fields of coriander and, when harvesting began the ripe pungency of this prolific herb got the better of me. It’s a miracle that I can see my way to growing it for others. So imagine my delight on reading Saturday 4th of May’s edition of the Independent magazine and discovering that top chef Angela Hartnett also can’t abide the stuff either. Hurrah. Continuing to flick leisurely through the mag I notice a familiar name, Elizabeth David. Hmmm is that the minty chocolate maker I wonder? No that’s Elizabeth Shaw. Ah it’s the Queen of skin care. No silly me, wrong again, that’s Elizabeth Arden. Elizabeth David is the recipe writer of course, because this is the foodie edition. Yet the name seems all too familiar. A quick glance at the book shelf and, what do you know, I seem to have aquired a book by the self same lady.
Flicking through I am delighted to find some personal notes made by an Elizabeth David enthusiast. Who is this mysterious scribbler? Then I, inadvertantly, let out an “Eurrgh!” Husband looks up suprised. “Coriander mushrooms” I inform him “Coriander mushrooms !!!! “. “Eurrgh” he agrees and goes back to his book. So I put the recipe book down and continue with the Independent magazine. ” Aaarggh!!!!!!! ” I cry. Husband looks over a little panicked. “What?” “There it is again ” I inform him, more than a little anguished. “Coriander mushrooms in the Indy !” I have to confess this has unsettled me, it is a violation of mushrooms. Mushrooms, in my book (my imaginary book!) go hand in hand with thyme, all kinds of thyme although my favourite combination is chesnut mushrooms fried in a little butter with lemon thyme. Mmmm served warm on a thick slice of home-made wholemeal bread, lightly brushed with garlic and olive oil…..that’s my idea of mushroom heaven!