The RV Chronicles — Maybe it’s the beer talking, but I’m no longer ashamed

Fine, I’m not ashamed … Just a little embarrassed.  Still, sometimes the best therapy is to just lay it all out there and move on.  Thanks perhaps to the beer tastings today at a regional grocer, I’m ready to confess.

I have been a quitter for the past 25 years, or so.

No, I didn’t quit on my softball team despite that the coach smoked cigarettes in the dugout and we had a losing record. I didn’t stop making Chinese egg rolls even though the love of my life dissed them. Hell, I’m still uber loyal to the Texas Rangers Baseball Club despite its colossal 7th inning collapse this past week to end an otherwise surprising season. And I’m dutiful to the likes of the Bee Gees and ABBA.

But I’ve neglected myself way too long in the way of my education.

I have always been lucky. There’s no need to go into detail, but I’ll just say that a few weeks after took the SAT the sophomore school counselor called me to her office and informed that I could write my ticket — should I choose to pull my head from my rear-end. How dare her!

Sure, I dabbled in the post-secondary arena. The bowling class was fun, though  I didn’t care for my first (of three) American History instructors. I dropped her course after she insisted that I remove my cap in her classroom. I also once flopped in a chemistry course because I concluded that an experiment involving toilet paper, pennies and water was really intended to determine the brand least likely to allow my fingers to poke through while … well, you know.  Believe it or not, I also failed a community college broadcasting course at the very same time I was thrice honored by the Texas Associated Press Broadcasters for being one of the best reporters in Texas. (I was the only honoree not old enough to partake in the open bar at Fort Worth’s esteemed Worthington Hotel.)

As the story goes, I acquiesced to my beautiful bride about two months ago when she expressed her interest in sitting next to me at a December graduation ceremony.  Yes, we took similar paths.

I wanted my diploma mailed to me. The idea of being the old dude who took his time was deplorable. I should have done this a long time ago. But I tend to do things my own way. And the thought of getting to walk across the stage with my soul mate makes me glad that I do … though I’m a little embarrassed that it took so damn long.

——

Between a (more-than) full-time job, my side work as a pitchman and PR writer and the 18 hours of university-level course work that I’ve embarked on this semester, I still have to eat.

About 20 years ago I went out on a limb and ordered a dish of linguine and mushrooms at a Manahawkin, NJ restaurant called the Cranberry Blog. I’d had their seafood, steaks, burgers and other stuff but this dish just always stood out to me. It was probably the first time I ever ate a main course and didn’t miss meat. Yes, it was that good. But my version is better.

The sauce and mushrooms are good enough to eat by themselves, but I enjoy mine with Organic Adzuki Bean Spaghetti from Explore Asian. Nope. This isn’t a sponsored post. But when I can get a toothsome pasta made from organic ingredients — with barely double-digit carbs — I’m all over it.  If your grocer doesn’t carry the brand, look for them online.  If they ship to the Jimmy Rockford, they’ll ship anywhere.

Did you know?  There’s no botanical difference between portabello and crimini mushrooms. The crimini is just harvested earlier.

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Creamy Mushroom Pasta

Creamy Mushroom Pasta — Earthy. Rich. Luscious.

Creamy Mushroom Pasta — Earthy. Rich. Luscious.

4.8 from 6 reviews
Creamy Mushroom Pasta
 
Author:
Recipe type: Pasta/Rice
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 lb – Assorted mushrooms, sliced (I use white, portabello, porcini* and shiitake*)
  • 1 qt – Vegetable stock
  • ½ cup – Dry white wine (Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 2 – Shallots, minced
  • 3 TB – Soy sauce
  • 2 TB – Vegetable oil
  • 2 TB – All-purpose flour
  • 1 TB – Black pepper, coarsely ground
  • ½ cup – Heavy cream
Instructions
  1. In a deep skillet or Dutch oven heat oil over a medium-high setting and add shallots.
  2. Cook, stirring regularly, until shallots start to become opaque – about 2 minutes.
  3. Add flour and stir constantly for about 30 seconds.
  4. Add stock in a slow stream while whisking the flour.
  5. Add mushrooms, wine, soy sauce and black pepper.
  6. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium.
  7. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sauce has reduced by about a third – about 20 minutes.
  8. Remove from heat; add cream; allow to sit for about 5 minutes.
  9. Serve over pasta.
Notes
*- If you use dry mushrooms, reconstitute w/ portion of vegetable stock to be added to recipe. This will increase mushroom flavor.

 

Comments

  1. RuthAnn Schmidt says:

    I love it that you have embraced mushrooms! There are other things I could comment on in this particular blog but I don’t want to embarrass you! FYI: I came to the conclusion many years ago that one can only embarrass oneself – others may give it a shot, but the “embarrassee” will always do it best.
    The recipe sounds awesome and if I ever get moved and can cook again, I will give it a try – sounds like a great fall comfort dish. (I gave it 4 stars since I have not tried it yet.)

    • adamjholland says:

      If I can cook this recipe in an RV, it can be cooked just about anywhere. By the way, I began embracing mushrooms almost 40 years ago while in the kitchen watching Dad make pizza. It went something like me asking him to leave mushrooms off my part, then him asking if I’d ever even tried mushrooms. I hadn’t, of course. But I did that day, and we’ve been together ever since. :-)

  2. I would like a reservation for dinner in your RV! Do you charge corkage?

  3. I wouldn’t miss the meat in this either – it looks absolutely perfect.

  4. Better late than never! And the pasta and mushrooms look divine.

  5. YUM! I also see that it has vegetable stock. I had a come to Jesus moment this weekend when I had four boxes of the well known broth with a blue label in my grocery basket. Head slap. Get off your lazy arse and make your own stock! I am not a great cook but I am also not a novice either. This I can do and I can regulate what and how it is seasoned.
    However, my question is, when you make vegetable stock, would you include kale stems? I just cleaned a bunch of red kale and dino kale for the next few meals, lunches. I had throwing the stems away but wonder if they will make the stock sour. And, if I might add, do you add to your stock pot? Or better yet, what do you leave out of your stock pot?
    This dish looks great and is a good meat substitute for when you need something toothy.
    I love learning new things from you. Keep it going.
    Go Seahawks!
    At my age, beef is a rare treat, in both ways. Mushrooms are a good sub.

    • Good grief Jill. Edit. Always EDIT. Sorry for the errors above.

    • adamjholland says:

      Jill – Onions. Carrots. Spinach. Celery. Even tomatoes and garlic, along with some peppercorns. Anything that is considered ‘gassy,’ I leave out. I’m not sure how kale would work. — Thank you for your kind words. :-)

      • I figured the same thing so I have always thrown them out. It seemed more trouble than worth. However, if it adds significantly, then I would.
        Thanks for your help. This is on my to-do list next weekend. I think I will be happier with home made stocks.

  6. Kris Swank says:

    Congrats on getting the education finished…I got mine finished (student teaching included) this past May…finally! I now regret not going through formal graduation so a big thumbs up for you.

    Your ‘shrooms look really good! Wonder how they would be on shiritaki noodles! Have a week…

    • adamjholland says:

      Congrats to you, Kris! I ate almost nothing but shirataki noodles for three months (back in my vegan phase), and I think this would be fine over them.

  7. I’ve had a hankerin’ for creamy mushroom pasta for a while now………time to get off my butt and make your recipe. Hey Congratulations on your milestone.

    You know, we all do things at the right time for us….like I probably should have waited past the age of 17 to get married and have a baby – probably should have gone to college first, but I did it a different way and it was perfect for me. A person has other things to do until they don’t. Eventually, you got to your don’t.

    • adamjholland says:

      Thank you for your kind words, Kelli. There have been five changes to my major and about a dozen schools in all of that time (seriously). I’m happy to get it done.

  8. I just found chanterelles at Costco and what a perfect way to use them! Ashamed? Damn, Adam. I’d be happy to just keep up with you! How do you do it?

  9. Look at all of those beautiful mushrooms, and over pasta. omg. Adam, I can’t remember a plate of food that you’ve posted that I haven’t want to make in my own kitchen. Goodness! Another pinned to try soon.

    • adamjholland says:

      You just can’t go wrong with a big ol’ plate of mushrooms and cream. It’s even better when you know that the other person in the house (RV) won’t eat’em. :-)

  10. Congratulations Adam – we all have our own timelines so what’s to be embarrassed about? Now about these mushrooms – they look awesome! Such a perfect meal for this time of year and it sure looks easy to prep.

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