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Mindful : February 2017
February 2017 mindful 23 Every year when the weather g rew colder in my hometown, my father took me out to pick mushrooms from the fields near my home. With buckets in our hands we'd trek into misty meadows to pluck them from the ground. We would return home with buckets overflowing. I can still vividly recall the smell of those mushrooms fresh from the earth, like a cool, foggy morning. Mushrooms are delicate yet hearty, exotic yet earthy, and have a texture all their own. They're often treated and thought of as a vegetable, or used to substitute meat, yet they belong to another biological kingdom altogether (the fungus kingdom). From their flavor to their texture, aroma, and appearance, mushrooms are truly distinct. I love them on their own, sautéd with a little garlic, some pars- ley, and a splash of wine, then cooked Earthly Treasures Recipes, food styling, photographs, and narrative by Béatrice Peltre. Find more of her work at latartinegourmande.com. in cream. They can also transform an otherwise simple dish into something rich, luxurious, and full-bodied. The key to cooking mushrooms is to take time and sauté them to reduce their water content, leaving them tender and with a satisfying chew. You don't have to venture out into the fields to handpick mushrooms as I did when I was a child, but it is important to use them while they're fresh. For me, that means I add mushrooms to my gro- cery basket with far more intention than I would many other ingredients. I buy mushrooms only when I really want to use them, and that makes them all the more special—a truly mindful ingredient. À votre santé et bon appétit. ● When Béatrice Peltre cooks with mushrooms, she gives them her full attention. LIVING | food