Mind Over Mushroom Challenge, Day 22: Death Skulls & The One-Bite Heartbreak

I’m a little furious over today’s recipe. Aside from MushBurg One, I’ve finished every meal until this catastrophe.

When I chose what recipes I would take on at the beginning, I stumbled across “Mushroom Skulls” and it just seemed so perfect. The name was accurate given that mushrooms have historically made me feel like death, the recipe had just two ingredients, and there was a bit of artistic work involved in making them look like skulls. Unfortunately, I only glanced over the instructions. It seemed simple so I thought it was a slam dunk of a recipe. Wrong.

Mushroom Skulls


You cook the mushrooms and then you let them get cold. Again, I didn’t think too much of this until they were getting cold and when I touched them the wrongness of the situation came rushing at me like an avalanche of dawning horror. This was not supposed to be the worst meal. However, today I tumbled and fell and crashed and burned. I’m talking half a mushroom here. I ate half a mushroom. One bite.

This is incredibly disappointing. I was doing so well. I didn’t even see it coming. Blind-sided by a death skull… Half a stinkin’ mushroom!

This recipe is ridiculous. A fresh whole, uncooked mushroom – I got it. Even a cooked mushroom – I stand a decent chance. But a cooked mushroom that sits on the counter until it gets cold? Why? Why would someone do that? It’s not good. It’s not okay. It’s every sort of awful.

I bit into it and the texture wasn’t like a fresh mushroom; it was like a cooked mushroom because, obviously, it was cooked once upon a time. And it was cold so it was like the equivalent of drinking cold coffee. Not iced coffee, mind you, but your piping hot, brewed up exactly right cup of coffee that you absent-mindedly let sit on the counter until you pick it up three-quarters of an hour later, take a big gulp and realize how much time has passed because it feels like the cold kiss of death on your lips.

I looked at the other half of the mushroom that I still held in my hand while trying to swallow the first bite. It was gray and gelatin looking – like something that wasn’t cooked, but should have been – almost like a cross-section of fat that had sat on the counter until it started to go bad and turned gray. I could feel that cold, decaying fat slab in my mouth. There was no escape. It had to go down. I swallowed… and I was done.

One bite. Heartbreaking.

Today’s Fungus Feast:

Mushroom Skulls – white button mushrooms and balsamic vinegar

Mind Over Mushroom Challenge, Day 21: Me Vs My Childhood Horror

It took me a quarter of an hour just to get up enough gumption to take the first spoonful of today’s meal. Needless to say, it was a long and difficult meal. I will admit that it didn’t need to be. Throughout it I kept inwardly reminding myself that it’s not as bad as you think it is. But it was like playing a mind game with myself (crazy right?) because my guts kept telling me that yes. Yes it is that bad.

So even though I knew it wasn’t so horribly, life-endingly bad, I still couldn’t overcome my feelings towards the soup. However, I did manage to get through it and I now feel a bit foolish for my childhood self and the big stink I would throw when my folks busted out the mushroom soup. It is still quite ingrained, but I don’t need a puke bucket anymore… so… sorry ma, sorry pa!

Today’s Fungus Feast:

Cream of Mushroom Soup (from a can)

Mind Over Mushroom Challenge, Day 13: A Blessing & A Blight

I have been called strong-willed. I have been called stubborn. Belligerent. Difficult. Persistent. Tenacious. Headstrong. Bull-headed.

I have been called all of these things (mostly by my mother) – I am a Capricorn after all. While these traits can be both a disadvantage and a blessing, I had expected them to be detrimental to me this time around. On one hand, it is this stubborn streak in me that has lent to my success in multiple challenges, but on the other it also meant that I would have to use that same stubbornness to overcome… my own stubbornness. Basically I’m a dog trying to catch my tail here.

It is my own bull-headedness that has grown my lifelong disgust and refusal to eat mushrooms. And now, I am attempting to break down that steadfast stubbornness so that I overcome this fungi related food aversion. But. It is precisely my innate stubborn persistence to succeed that will help me to do this. Wrap your head around that. Like fighting fire with fire. Except that cliché is always used to say that you can’t fight fire with fire – you just end up with a bigger fire. Only that’s wrong. You can fight fire with fire. It’s a forest fire fighting technique that doesn’t seem to make sense on the surface, but can work.

Right now, I’m putting out the fire.

That’s how it seems. I refuse to get too cocky as I still have the more intense meals to get through yet, but with today’s meal it seems like I’ve broken my food aversion will. It’s not quite success. It’s more of a resigned Welp. Another day, another mushroom. Because I have to eat them every day, I’ve been wearing down that high-strung keep that damn fungus away from me! tendency. My stubbornness to maintain this challenge through to the end seems to be triumphing over my belligerent refusal to eat mushrooms… A blessing and a blight.

Now, a little bit about the actual food from Tortilla meal with mushroomstoday. My meal was… tortilla stuff. Fancy right? It was a tasty meal. I ate the mushrooms in my resigned, mechanical way – neither enjoying them nor overwhelmingly hating them and day 13 came to an anti-climatic end.

Today’s Fungus Feast:

Tortilla Stuff – white button mushrooms, corn tortillas, red, orange and yellow peppers, garlic, white onion, and green enchilada sauce

Mind Over Mushroom Challenge, Day 12: An Unexpected Victory

It’s a busy time of year. Not the best time for undertaking a daily challenge, but of course, I’m belligerent so here we are. To help prepare for the hectic holiday life, I bought pre-made, frozen mushroom burgers.

Remember how the first round of mushroom burgers went? I figured these ones would be worse. Pre-made, processed food is just generally not as good as homemade. I do eat it, but that fact still remains. Now the picture on the box showed a burger with sliced Mushroom burger packagingPortobello mushrooms poking out from between the buns. I was conjuring up all sorts of nasty in my head when thinking about those pre-made burgers with frozen mushrooms, but then I opened the box. Lo and behold – misleading packaging! The mushrooms were actually ground up into the burger patty.

Next thing I knew, I was halfway through the burger. I was on my lunch break and doing a handful of things all at the same time which meant I wasn’t focusing on my meal very much. Perhaps this was a good thing. It allowed me to demolish that burger without a second thought.

But then, at the halfway pause, I had that second thought:


You see, I’m a raging carnivore, but my dining companion is not. So when it’s a burger night I’m having veggie burgers. I’ve gotten used to this sad state of affairs, but today – hoo boy – today things have changed. This was still a veggie burger, but it had so much more flavor (and not a dirt mushroom flavor) and it wasn’t all dried out like the usual veggie burger. Plus it was the size of a normal burger. Maybe it’s just the brand I had been eating before, but those patties pre-mushburg were tiny, flat, tasteless hunks of nothing.

Eating a mushroom burgerI just can’t believe that mushrooms, of all things, has saved me from a horribly incomplete burger life.

I do have to note that if the packaging had been more honest and true to what it really was, I probably wouldn’t have the opinion I do now. As a child I couldn’t even eat ground up mushrooms, but now I’m realizing that I absolutely can. With today’s meal the mushrooms were pretty much processed into oblivion. Which is perfect.

Today’s Fungus Feast:

Store Bought Mushroom Burgers – portobello & white mushrooms, swiss cheese, cheddar, relish, ketchup and buns

Mind Over Mushroom Challenge, Day 8: Game Changer! (VIDEO)

I found myself saying some unexpected things today with the Portobello mushroom fries. Perhaps my love of finger foods won out; perhaps Portobello mushrooms are just a better mushroom, or… perhaps I am just growing up…

This was the best meal I’ve had so far (mushroom-wise) so I think it’s worthy of some recipe sharing. If you want to make them yourself, click here for the link. And if you’ve never used panko before… now is the perfect time to right that wrong.


Today’s Fungus Feast:

Portobello Fries: Portobello mushrooms, flour, panko, parmigiano-reggiano, parsley, red pepper flakes, pepper, and eggs