Apr 20, 2010

Stuffed mushrooms

When I was growing up, I had always craved for mushrooms. For some reason, the only mushrooms I encountered (mostly in my mom's cooking) came in small portions; they were minor accompaniments to chicken or beef in soups or to veges in stir fries. These little bites never satisfied my craving and I bugged my mom to try an all-mushroom dish. (I later discovered that there is a myriad of all-mushroom dishes in the Malay cuisine. None of them, however, are part of parents' native culinary culture.)

One day, my mom finally acquiesced. I distinctively remember looking at the bag of mushrooms sitting on the kitchen counter; they looked like freshly-mined gold. My mom sliced and sauteed them with some garlic and oyster sauce. I remember spooning the mushrooms onto my steaming hot white rice. I remember the taste of the oyster sauce but what catapulted me to ecstacy was the texture; the mushroom is disctinctively rubbery, spongy and chewy at the same time. It was heaven.

Everyone else in my family weren't too keen on the dish so there was a lot left over (which probably explains why my mom rarely makes an all-mushroom dish). I took the liberty of finishing it, literally licking the bowl clean. It's not a pretty picture but it felt like the right thing to do at the time.

Later, when my family was settling down to an after-lunch siesta, I started feeling nauseaus. I started getting sudden bouts of light-headedness. Then, before I could even tell myself to start running, I was running to the bathroom. What happened next was, again, not a pretty picture. Suffice it to say that I developed a, what I like to call, psychological allergy to mushrooms.

After that incident, even the sight of mushrooms made me nauseaus. I would get a tingling sensation on the bridge of my nose and my throat would well up with imaginary bile. This went on for several years until I was in junior year at UTM. I had friends who were big fans of mushrooms so I started eating them again in small portions, making small increments until I finally graduated to all-mushroom dishes.

Today, I had that craving for mushrooms once more so I made this and refrained from overdosing again.

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