“At the Cape, when wild mushrooms were plentiful, they were picked and preserved in a spice sauce or dried for later use. Cooks used their own preferred herbs and spices to improve the taste of the mushrooms. Add this mushroom powder to soups, pastas, sauces or vegetables to enhance the flavour” Cape Winelands Cuisine page 146.
When I still lived in Sandton there was a joke doing the rounds. The one kugel said to the other “Do you use your rearview mirror” and she replied “No, I do my makeup at home”. I am reminded of this joke every morning on my way to work. The traffic has become worse and worse over time. It used to take us 15 minutes to travel the 12 kilometers to work. Now it takes us over 20 minutes. We have started leaving earlier in the mornings. Those ten minutes mean two things. One, we get to work before 7am, and two, there is no time for me to do my makeup before we leave home. We encounter seven traffic lights between our house and the office. Some days I am lucky, and the last 5 are all green. But most days I get stopped at least 4 times.
I make good use of this time to put my face on. To do this I have had to create an extra makeup bag for the car. This way I don’t end up with my travel makeup being left in the glove compartment while we are away. This has happened once before, hence the spare set. In the bag I have my sunblock – essential for every day use no matter the weather. Plus face powder, eye shadow, blush and mascara. Some mornings I don’t get stopped enough to get the entire process complete. But most days I do. The day I made this mushroom powder I put some into a container for my kitchen. And the rest into a Ziploc bag to take overseas. This is a great substitute for stock powders and adds umami flavour to whatever Dave is cooking.
Click on the links for conversions and notes.
- 50 g dried mushrooms
- 2.5 mls ground nutmeg
- 2.5 mls ground cloves
- 2.5 mls black peppercorns
- 30 mls coarse salt
- 15 mls dried rosemary
- 15 mls dried thyme
- Place the mushrooms into a spice grinder and process to a coarse powder
- Add the nutmeg, cloves, peppercorns, salt and rosemary
- Process until fine
- Pour into a bowl and stir in the thyme
- Store and use as needed