Ma Pista sent me an email today asking if we wanted any of my dead grandpa's furniture, if they should bring the pickup truck, if my dad needs to be prepared to show plumber cleavage ... She went on to express excitement that we would be able to make dinner at the house. Usually we end up turning their visit into a tour of Duluth dining. I'm not sure my mom is over the time we took her to Chester Creek Cafe twice in two days, then snickered when she ordered the GBLT sandwich.(It's a BLT with guacamole, not a BLT with a parade).
"I have a killer spinach and mushroom lasagna recipe. We can chop up the mushrooms so they don't bother you," she wrote.
I thought she was kidding. I actually saw that line, crinkled my face into my best imitation of a gassy math teacher, and continued reading, expecting to find some sort of el oh el that would acknowledge that I haven't hated mushrooms for the past what-say 34 years because, as the sentence suggests, they are too big. Woman: I don't even like Cream of Mushroom soup. I have some fancy schmancy Truffle Oil in my bookcase (you have your makeshift pantry, I'll have mine) that I'm saving to use to induce barfing the next time I accidentally mistake Windex for PowerAde.
It's not that I haven't tried: One time my mom filled an entire crockpot with butter, a packet of ranch dressing, and so much fungus that the slow cooker had to be washed out with Lotrimin. Those mushrooms, or rather butter vessels, were good enough to eat. I am also not opposed to a sliver of sliced raw mushroom, the likes of which are found in a salad bar.
A Portabella mushroom would kill me.
I do like saying "Shittake."
I can't even "pick the mushrooms off" a pizza. The essence has been baked into the pie.
And it is exactly that essence that would ruin the lasagna.
I like gross things. I love oysters. I used to enjoy eating crayfish, particularly the part where you suck out the brain and can totally feel it's little feelers tickling your throat. Pork rinds, pickled turkey gizzards, multiple White Castle burgers in one sitting. But I will not eat mushrooms, even ones that are chopped up so they don't bother me, in lasagna. Nope.
* She was fine with this, and said we could substitute sausage.