Monday, October 18, 2010

Mushrooms Are Not Your Friends

It has been one year since the horrible incident. The incident that has forever changed me. The incident that has left me scarred, terrified of pregnant flies and their gross and disgusting maggot babies. 

It's been one year since The Mushroom Incident...dun dun dun....

(And as nothing exciting is happening, it's an excellent time for a repost).

(oh, and this was originally posted on 22.10.09)


Let me start by saying that this should have been a much happier post. A post about delectable wild mushrooms and the beautiful gourmet meal I would cook using them. But I'm just not that girl and that's just not me.

And I will also say that this incident, that will henceforth be known as 'The Mushroom Incident' occurred over a week ago but I have had to let a little time pass before being able to write about it. Oh, and one last thing, please forgive me for any rambling that may follow, I'm still a little bit traumatized...
It all started on a Sunday evening. We went to Papa's house for a chat and drink (Provencal Rosé for me, Pastis for the Boyfriend). Papa had been very busy that day and he was quite chuffed with himself. Not only had he gone hunting and killed a wild boar (not with his bare hands - he's not Super Papa) he had also done some mushroom foraging and had a large bucket of the biggest mushrooms I had ever seen. These things were like Alice In Wonderland mushrooms, you could picture little frogs relaxing underneath with a good book and a little martini.

Seeing my excitement, Papa grabbed a bag and started stuffing mushrooms into it, all the while speaking rapidly in French giving me instructions for proper preparation and cooking with the Boyfriend translating over him. I nodded that I understood, smiled and said, "merci".
We headed home with the plan of having them for dinner the next night. The Boyfriend told me to leave them out, so I found a large bowl and left them on the counter.

Now this is my mistake, I should have covered them. They're mushrooms, not fruit.

The next day I was getting excited, I was trolling the internet and reading my cookbooks looking for the perfect accompaniments for Papa's wild mushrooms. Then the Boyfriend called. He said that he was still thinking about the merguez sausage and couscous I had cooked the night before and if there was any leftover, that's what he would like for dinner. He assured me that the mushrooms would be fine to cook the next night, Tuesday.

Now if you have read my older post entitled, 'The Pizza Van', you will know that Tuesday nights are Pizza Night in Le Petit Village and that very next Tuesday, my mushroom Tuesday turned out to be the night I learned about Pizza Tuesdays, so without expanding anymore, you know that I did not cook the mushrooms for dinner. However, a phone call to the Boyfriend's Grand-mere did take place where she advised the Boyfriend to partially cook the mushrooms that evening, refrigerate them, and then finish cooking them on the Wednesday.

Fine, I'll enjoy my pizza and partially cook the mushrooms.

Then my Boyfriend's kindness intervened. "You're tired, don't cook them. Just put them in the refrigerator and cook them early tomorrow, they'll be ok." (not a direct quote but you get the gist).
Happily and tiredly I agreed. The bowl of mushrooms went into the fridge and up the spiral stairs to bed we went.

I should have listened to Grand-mere.

The next day after my coffee it was time to do some mushroom cooking. And then it happened...
Opening the fridge I was greeted by the most disgusting sight someone could see. Not just any someone, but someone who had spent the last two weeks cleaning cleaning cleaning her (previous Boyfriend bachelor pad) home to make it feel comfortable enough for a girl to live in. That comfort that I had only just begun to feel was now stripped off me like a warm duvet on a cold, rainy Monday morning...

Little maggots! Yes. Little recently hatched maggots were slithering up the back of my refrigerator. Freaking out, I slammed the door and phoned the Boyfriend at work. "Maggots!" I screamed. "What?" he asked. Terrible time for language difficulties. I grabbed my translation dictionary, trying again, "asticot!" The response I got was typical of a man who is not really paying attention and also not there to have to deal with it. "Oh".

Oh, ok, my problem I guess then.

I hung up the phone took some deep breaths and went to work. Grabbing black plastic sacks I emptied every bit of the fridge; two dozen eggs, sandwich meats, fruit, vegetables, chorizo, my cheese box, butter... everything! And of course the mushrooms. The mushrooms that I had once loved but had now turned against me. Damn Judas mushrooms. The black sacs went out to the bins. It was now extermination time. I got a spray bottle of disinfectant and let my inner Terminator possess me. I sprayed until the inside of the fridge was coated with pink chemicals but there was no way I was cleaning up their little carcasses. The Boyfriend could do that when he got home.

Payback for the unsympathetic, "oh".

I closed the door, washed my hands, took a shower, and went to bed with a book until the Boyfriend got home. Oh, and I also did what every other 'woman' my age does. I called my mother and cried.

To finish up my re-telling of 'The Mushroom Incident' this is what occurred when the Boyfriend got home:
1. Upon opening the fridge he asked, "where is all the food?". Seriously??!!
2. He then put a glass of wine in my hand and ordered me to the couch (smart boy).
3. He disposed of the little carcasses and washed the fridge with bleach and boiling water (as instructed by the internet).
4. We went to Papa's and ate some of that wild boar. Delicious!

So that's it. It's been eight days since and honestly, every time I open my fridge I squint at the back wall. All ok so far. And on the bright side, now I have a super duper clean fridge.

(A year later and sometimes I still squint at the back wall in the fridge)



  1. I do love to read your busy/funny/wonderful life stories. I can't wait to see what happens next (-:

  2. As we're currently eating mushrooms for breakfast, lunch and dinner I think I would have preferred to hear the story about the... "delectable wild mushrooms and the beautiful gourmet meal I would cook using them."

    Still, you'll know to eat the mushrooms fresh next time, won't you?

    There will be a next time, won't there?

    All the best


  3. Dear Sara,
    you are so funny! I agree with Linda, I also can't wait to see what happens next!
    Never see maggots in a fridge :)

  4. That is so gross! You do know you will be telling this story forever. My mother once defrosted a rabbit and it did the same thing and she still tells the story (and has never eaten rabbit since). This was before I was born!
    Maggots: nice when you have gangrene, but not in the kitchen.

  5. Linda - Thanks! And I can't wait to see what happens next either! :-)

    Keith - lesson has definitely been learned!

    Babi - And I hope you never have to seem them! It's horrible! x

    Kirsty - I think your mother's story is even worse than mine!

  6. You put me off my breakfast - thanks!

  7. This totally reminds me of the forgotten potatoes. Twice while living on my own (and in two different apartments) I made the mistake of stashing a bag of potatoes in a cool, dry, dark cupboard and forgot about them.

    And both times I was greeted by the foulest of foul scents and maggots.

    And I had to be the brave fighter, and kill them and dispose of everything and clean it all myself. No brave boyfriends to rescue me.

    The smell in the cupboard was so bad that it took months, several rounds of cleaning, and a bag of open coffee grounds to get rid of it.

  8. I hate maggots, eewwww, just thinking of it gives me goose bumps! But i really enjoyed reading this story, interesting enough that i read them all! I'm now following! =)

  9. Hilarious! My toes would have curled..probably for days. Ugh. And I'm so jealous of the going back to bed with a book for the day part. Sigh.

  10. My word Sara Louise how much your life has changed in only a year.I've said it before, seriously this would make a great book.

  11. Ohh now I want to know more..I love the way you write:) hugs and kisses,sweetie
    Happy Monday

  12. Sarah Elizabeth - sorry! I should have included a warning x

    Sara - how awful! At least we've learned our lessons but if it happens again, give a shout and I'll stick The Husband on a plane :-)

    Shineyglam - goosebumps galore! Thanks for following :-)

    Aidan - Yes, the back to bed part was good. Bonus of not having children, and this was before I had Fifty too. x

    James - You flatter me. Thanks for always making me smile :-)

  13. Our second apartment, in New York City, also had a fridge with maggots! Didn't discover it until I put some new fresh food in it, and the next morning.....aaahh. They were all in the rubber around the edge, and crawling in the drawers. Yes, I freaked out! Long and short of it, we had it carried down the four flights, that very day, and bought ourselves a new fridge (this was a rental, so of course the landlord was not about to buy a new one). Years later, it still makes my skin crawl!!!!

  14. what the?! I have a question. How do maggots come out of nowhere?? I'm going to assume they didn't live in the fridge. And they weren't on the mushrooms when you first had them. So WHERE did they come from?? I saw my first live maggots in Europe as well. But it was in our garbage can. ick ick ick!!

  15. Ick! I'm not sure I would be able to look at another mushroom ever again.

  16. Hmm - giant shrooms all through the markets right now, too. Maggots? This is precisely my issue with Lady Gaga's meat dress. Freaking maggots.

  17. hahahahahahahah!!! I love that you called your mother and cried because that completed the story and is exactly what iI would have done!

  18. I'm just glad you didn't end up eating any maggots. That would have been too much for anyone to handle.

  19. That is, legit, one of the funniest stories you've ever told.

    And one of the grossest.

    I wouldn't have bothered with the fridge. I would have demanded that we move. Or buy a new fridge. You are very brave and fearless.


  20. the boyfriend to the rescue - i like his solution - give you a glass of wine and he scrubs the fridge with bleach - he's well trained!! (hehe)

  21. you bring a little bit of joy and laughter into my life with every new post you publish


  22. Bugs in the fridge? Trauma. Plain and simple. I'd be searching/spying/inspecting for bugs for years to if the ghost of the maggots still lingered!
    You poor thing. I too would have cried a thousand mushroom tears!

  23. Eeek I knew there was a reason I didn't like mushrooms... but as horrible as that experience was, it makes for a wonderfully funny tale of the past.

    p.s. i would still squint at the back of my fridge too!

  24. Who would have thought mushrooms were that evil? And I'm with B...I would have bought a new fridge!

  25. That must have been a traumatizing incident! I've never had to deal with maggots (and I hope I never have to) but I think you handled it just the way anyone would!

  26. Ew ew ew ew ew! I'm so glad I finished my breakfast before reading this! Haha. If it's any consolation, my boyfriend would have reacted with the same indifference and I would have cried to my mom too!

  27. Oh Sara, how you make me smile! First of all, please, please, PLEASE! tell me this has not turned you off of mushrooms for good? That would be a tragedy, although not that I would blame you. Second, how brave of you to share with us so that we can all laugh in horror at your expense :) And I agree with would write an awesome-tastic book! (Yes that's a word, write it down!) Toodles dear!

  28. This is a masterpiece and you should repost it every autumn.

  29. Oh GOD! I just read this and no I'm rethinking my chicken in mushroom sauce. Oh how freakin' gross. Yech.

  30. Ugh!! Glad we finished all of our mushrooms before I read this...geez, this is a cautionary tale if I ever heard one. Going to be super-careful with our mushrooms as well (headed out for a hunt soon as well)...yikes...& yucky! :)

  31. Ewwwwww!!!! Ga-ross! We had a slightly less gross incident where it looked like little bugs were pooping in the fennel bulbs we had just bought, and although they were contained to one drawer I refused to go near the fridge until Dan threw them out and conducted a similiar disinfecting project...and I do occasionally still look for those little poop trails. Blegh.


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