Saturday 10 December 2016

The mushrooms were real, not picked by virgin elves

Published 14/10/2013 | 05:00

I HADN'T washed and peeled spuds in ages. And on Sunday I did it, thoughtfully, enjoying the muck on my hands, and the satisfaction with how easily it came off the potatoes and then how completely you could peel the spud. I became involved. Is this what they all mean when they talk about mindfulness?

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I think I felt connected with the land too, through the muck. You can keep your wine; this was terroir, mud on your hands. Climbing back into the earth. And I did it again and again, far too many potatoes for our little family. But I think I became for a minute like one of those artists who paints the same thing all the time. For a while, the world was not about breadth but about depth, going deeper and deeper through the repetition of looking at the same thing and doing the same thing to each spud.

Of course, most spuds don't need to be washed anymore. I had probably paid a premium for these because they had the muck on them. I had bought amazing-looking mushrooms as well. Even the woman who has the shop agreed they looked amazing, and she reckoned if they tasted half as good as they looked they'd be all right. They did. The last time I tasted mushrooms like this, I had picked them on the golf course with my dad and come home excited. They were deep and earthy and salty. Salty because I put loads of salt on them.

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