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Posts tagged ‘marinated mushrooms’

How My French Exchange Student Stole Prom (Marinated Mushrooms)

When I was a freshman in high school, I asked my parents if we could host a French exchange student for two weeks.  Unfortunately, they said yes.

And so Cendrine came to stay.

She was blonde and tall.  She wore Levis three-times tighter than my Gap jeans.  Every night she applied expensive ladies’ eye cream while I struggled with an alarming array of facial products marketed to teenage girls.

Worst of all, she had boobs.

For at least this reason, Cendrine was a big hit with the boys at school.  They gave me dozens of notes addressed to her.  I read the notes out loud in the student parking lot, translating as I went, while she smoked cigarettes.

For a week, I ran this Pony Express/translation/dating service for her.  And then one of the notes asked her to prom.

I started seriously considering ways I could have her extradited.

At my school, you were guaranteed to go to prom as a junior and a senior.  You might get invited as a freshman or sophomore if you were really popular.  And for the 14 freaking days Cendrine was in the United States of America, she was really popular.

I wish I could say prom was canceled or Cendrine was sent home after robbing the Levis section of J.C. Penny.  But that’s not what happened.

What happened was Cendrine went to prom and I heroically stayed home and did something awesome, like my Biology homework.  Or maybe I puffy-painted a t-shirt or practiced rollerblading.  Whatever.

But I will tell you this: Rollerblading really improved my balance.  This meant that when I got invited to prom the next year, I did not fall down the stairs.  So, win.

And by not buying expensive eye cream starting at age 15, I’ve probably saved $5,000 or more.

That is a lot of money that I can spend on t-shirts and puffy paint now!


But I may spend under 10 bucks on homemade antipasto now and then.

Like marinated mushrooms, as sloppy and tangy as they make ’em in an Italian deli.

I assumed I had to buy marinated mushrooms.  I didn’t realize that all you do is put them in some vinegar, wine, olive oil and garlic and leave them for as little as an hour.  Whee!

Marinated Mushrooms {Download & Print Recipe}


1 lb. button mushrooms

1/2 c. olive oil

1/4 c. white vinegar

1/4 c. white wine

3 cloves garlic

4 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

1 tsp. sugar

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

dash salt & pepper

(optional, for color) 1-4 tbsp. fresh red, yellow or orange sweet or bell pepper, diced


Clean the mushrooms and trim the stems up to the level of the cap.  Cut the mushrooms into halves or quarters, as you prefer.  Place mushrooms in a bowl.

Dice the garlic and chop the parsley (and fresh peppers, if desired)

Combine the olive oil, vinegar, wine, parsley, garlic, cayenne pepper, sugar, salt and pepper in a screw-top jar and shake well.

Pour the marinade over the mushrooms (and the peppers, if desired) and toss.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour, up to 2 days.  Turn the mushrooms occasionally as they marinate.

Serve the mushrooms as hors d’oeuvres at room temperature with toothpicks or forks.


1. 1/2 c. white wine vinegar can be substituted for the vinegar + white wine.

2. In the picture above, the mushrooms had marinated for 1 day.  They were perfect for my taste.  They’re also good just an hour after you put them in the fridge, but they’re firmer and the flavor is not as intense.

Take 1: Alert

Take 2: Determined

Take 3: Sad?

Take 4: Rocking Out

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