The solo and impromptu performance on the bus gave Archie inspiration. A few weeks ago he came to me and said, ‘Mum, I won’t be home Friday night. Don’t cook me any dinner’.
‘Where are you going, Archie?’
‘I’ll be catching a train.’
‘I don’t know’.
‘Is everything okay?’
‘We’ll just be going around the city. Mum, I’ve spoken to the band and we’re going to get on the train and just start performing. I can’t wait’.
I had no words. ‘And the others agreed to this?’
‘Yeah, they’re fine with it’.
‘What about the poor girl with the double bass? Is she happy to carry that around town?’
‘Yeah, Dave and I will give her a hand. So don’t worry about dinner. And I won’t be home until late’.
These days I’m so worn down and so used to dealing with Archie’s ‘out there’ schemes that as long as it’s legal I just don’t interfere. And I’m actually worn down to the point where I didn’t even bother to check if it is legal to play your guitar and sing at the top of your lungs while accompanied by a guy on a ukelele and girl struggling with a double bass on a public train.
Naturally, it was the best experience of Archie’s life. ‘Mum, you should have seen us. Everyone loved it. They were clapping and cheering and stamping their feet and everyone was videoing it and some have already put it on u-tube and then they wanted to know how to find us so on the trains they were ‘liking’ us on facebook and we got 37 new ‘likes’ and someone wants to book us. And some even thought we were doing it for money so they were throwing us money and so later we bought a few beers. But I’m starving. Is there any dinner?’
And there actually was. Because even though Archie had told me twice not to make him any dinner, I just knew he would arrive home starving. ‘There’s pasta in the fridge’.
‘Oh, that’s excellent. Love pasta. Thanks mum. And mum, we’re going out again on Monday night. We’re doing it all again. It’s so much fun, mum. You wouldn’t believe it. You wouldn’t believe how much people love a live performance on a train. I had no idea’.
And they did go out again on the Monday night and of course it was even better than Friday night.
Because everything just gets better and better for Archie.
Archie and I are ‘working’ at a birthday party on Sunday night. I’ll be in the kitchen and Archie will be behind the bar. (I get him work when I can; busking on buses and trains isn’t that lucrative). And the party has an Italian theme so I’m organising some antipasto platters and I thought marinated mushrooms would be lovely on the platter. These are simple and easy to make and great for the upcoming party season.
Makes: 1ltr (4 cups). I poured the mushrooms and oil into 2 x 500ml (2 cup capacity) sterilised jars.
Degree of Difficulty: 1/5
Cost: Very inexpensive especially if you compare with the price you pay for marinated mushrooms in a deli.
- 1 ltr (4 cups) white wine vinegar
- 500ml (2 cups) water
- 2 tspns salt
- 800g button mushrooms
- 1 tbspn chopped parsley
- 1 tbspn thyme leaves
- 1 head of garlic cloves, peeled
- 1/2 tspn ground black pepper
- 375ml (1 1/2 cups) hot olive oil
Heat vinegar, water and salt in non-reactive pan until hot; do not boil. Add mushrooms, simmer gently, uncovered for 5 mins; drain. Discard vinegar mixture.
Combine hot mushrooms, herbs, garlic and pepper in large heatproof bowl; mix well. Pour hot oil over mushroom mixture, taking care as it will bubble. Place mushroom mixture in sterilised jars, top with enough oil to completely cover mushrooms, leaving 1cm space between mushrooms and top of jar. Seal while hot.
Can be made a week ahead.
Refrigerate for about 3 months.
This recipe has been adapted from The Australian Women’s Weekly Italian Cookbook No.2.