Thursday, June 14

Minding My Peas and Mushrooms

I miss the way my grandmother used to say "mushrooms." It was "mushroonz" with a hard "n." I don't know why she pronounced it that way. Maybe it was a Rhode Island-Italian mash-up. Maybe it was just her.

When she was alive, I never missed an opportunity to remind her of it: "Hey, Nan, whatcha cooking over there? Some peas with mushroonz?" I'd say, suppressing a giggle. Invariably, she'd reply, "Ooh, you're so fresh." Then she'd make me sit down with her and eat some. Although I didn't like peas and mushrooms, I always liked Nan's, slick with butter and speckled with black pepper.

Even since Jeff and I moved away from Rhode Island 15 years ago, I've been cooking Nan's recipes — Italian chicken and escarole soup, Pizzelle Cookies, her famous Easter pies — and saying words like she did (well, only when I'm home). I'm not making fun of her. It's just the opposite: It's a way to remember her and talk about her.

The other night I had a pot of cooked fresh peas and mushrooms resting on the stove top. When Jeff came home from work, he walked straight to it, scooped a spoonful into his mouth, and said, "Mmmm.... good peas and mushroonz just like Nan's."

Yup, just like Nan's.

How about you? Did you grandmother or other loved one have funny ways of pronouncing words or doing things? I'd love to hear about them in the comment section below. 

Peas and Mushroonz (or Mushrooms)
Makes 4 servings
Printable recipe.

2 tablespoons butter
1 shallot, diced (about 1/4 cup)
1 (10-ounce) bag of sliced mushrooms
2 cups fresh peas (about 10 ounces)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. In a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add the shallots and cook 2 to 3 minutes, until soft and translucent. Add the mushrooms and cook 5 to 6 minutes or until lightly browned all over. Add the peas and cook 2 to 3 minutes, if you like them al dente like I do. If you prefer them softer, then cook them longer. Season generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Enjoy.

Since it's fresh pea season, here are more peas recipes you might enjoy:
Spring Pea Guacamole recipe from Everyday Southwest
Sweet Peas Hummus recipe from My Man's Belly
Orange Spiked Peas with Dill recipe from Food Blogga
Spring Pasta with Fresh Peas recipe from Arugula Files
Fresh Peas with Vegan "Bacon" recipe from May I Have that Recipe?
Warm Three Pea and Radish Salad recipe from Food Blogga
Creamy Minted Fresh Pea Almond Soup recipe from Healthy, Happy Life
Lemony Pasta with Fresh Peas, Ricotta and Mint recipe from Food Blogga
Spring Salad with Dandelion Greens, Asparagus and Fresh Peas recipe from Sass & Veracity


Emily @SageRecipes said...

Hi Susan,
Simple peas and mushrooms sound like a great dish! Your post reminded me of my mom. She actually says "mushroonz" too! She also says "salza" instead of salsa, which I think is so weird! Hope you are doing well since seeing you last in NYC!

Megan said...

I like how my mother-in-law (born in Germany/Austria) says "leather". She pronounces is "ledder". So my husband and I always seem to find a way to bring the word into conversation just so we can say it her way. Same with my mom and the word "tomato". She always says "tomata". Love it!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

emily-Your mom says it too? I don't remember Nan saying "salza." Then again, I don't think salsa was even in her vocabulary!

megan-I'm glad to hear Jeff and I aren't alone. I love "tomata." I'd bring that one up as often as possible. ;)

Ashley Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine) said...

Aw, what a cute little story :) I love love peas and in my adult life developed a taste for mushrooms too. Delish!

Jeff @ Cheeseburger said...

This is a very healthy dish. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

ashleybee-I'm glad you like them now.


Julia said...

My grandmother didn't say things in a funny way, but my husband does. he adds a 'g' to onions. he says it ongion. Weird.

Jean said...

Wow! Love it...I always adore mushrooms. :) Thanks for sharing this very healthy recipe.. :)

Anonymous said...

My 99 year old grandmother died recently. She had many unusual ways of saying things that I will forever miss. My favorite was when she talked about God (which she did whenever she could) as The Old Monster. She added a short a to all verbs-a walking, a talking, etc. And used colorful expressions to describe events as in if I disobeyed her we would "get along like a bear and a hog." Thanks for the post and the encouragement to reminisce. said...

Oh Lord - my Italian grandparents and Aunts and Uncles massacred so many words! Mushroomz and
tomots (tomatoes), and The Beatles were known as
The Beat la...too funny.
Miss them all, especially grandma. She was an amazing cook, and seemed to have the ability to make a meal appear out of nowhere!

goody said...

The old man always called cauliflower, "Collie-Flower." Drove me nuts. But the best one came from someone I worked with in an office who called, "escrow", "escarole", as in, "I put it in the escarole account."

Kelly said...

My older sister says "pisghetti". It's impossible to get her to say it any other way and she's 48 years old. She also says "neggid" for naked, which no one has ever tried to correct, since it's so gosh-darned adorable.

Visit today said...

mmm, looks real good!!!

Unknown said...

My husband says 'artie-choke', which I thought was weird when I met him, since he grew up eating them in California, but when I met his mom (also a native Californian) I realized that he got it from her, that's how she said it. Not his dad (another CA native, so go figure), tho. But the crazy part is that my husband doesn't think he says it any differently than anybody else.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

julia-"G" to onions? Hmmm... that's a new one to me. Too funny, isn't it?

jean-Glad you like it.

anonymous-Get along like a bear and a hog? I love that! You have no idea how pleased it makes me to know that I encouraged you to reminisce about your grandma. Thanks for sharing and making my day.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

josie- The Beat. Hehehe. That's a good one. I'm sure your Italian grandparents and mine shared many of the same funny words.

goody-The escarole account? Oh, that's awesome. Reminds me of my grandma-in-law who used to say "testicles" instead of "tentacles" when referring to squid. ;)

kelly-Pisghetti is gosh-darn adorable. Don't correct her. :)


Unknown-I don't know what's cuter, the way he says it or the way he thinks he doesn't say it differently.