A confession . . .

Morel MushroomsI have a confession to make . . . a secret desire that has been with me for many years . . . a quiet obsession, rarely glimpsed . . . I have a “thing” for mushrooms.

I think it must have started when I was a student, when large serves of fried mushrooms and onions seemed to be my vegetable of choice, although, casting my mind back further, I can remember my father frying panfuls of them and insisting that lashings of butter were the key. One of the things I have missed since we left the UK is the easy availability of Chestnut Mushrooms, which Sainsbury’s used to stock right next to the generic Buttons. They used to be just-exotic-enough to keep my habit in check, but it’s been nearly a decade since we left so now I am having real cravings for good, cheap exotic mushrooms.

With mushroom prices skyrocketing, our dreams of a decent kitchen garden in the UK have lead me to believe there could be a green, budget solution to my vice: grow-your-own mushroom kits. These seem to be available for a whole range of my favourite exotics – Chestnut, Shiitake & Oyster – and you can even get kits to grow Morels! That’s right – the most sought-after of wild mushrooms can be grown at home. I must admit, I’ve never tried one . . . that’s right . . . a confessed mushroom fanatic that has never eaten a Morel – Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall would be shocked, and so would the thousands of Morel lovers around the world. So I am going to make amends – they will have a place in our new kitchen garden and I’ll finally be able to try them without choking on the $40/kg price tag. The kit I’m looking at is this one – Kit for growing Giant Morels – it’s £40 but looks like great fun, with a good foodie result at the end of our hard work.

I think the Morels can go on my wishlist for now, while I find out how truly easy/impossible they are to grow, and find some great recipes.

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