Marinated Mushrooms and On the Trains

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.’

‘Where to?’

‘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’.

Marinated Mushrooms

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.

Lovely on a platter for the party season

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’.

Great on an antipasto plate

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.

Marinated Mushrooms

Quick, easy and inexpensive to make

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.

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  1. I thought performing on a train is very clever. You don’t know who rides there or what comes after that. With social media the video might go viral and bam… Archie’s career will be in full swing.
    I love marinated mushrooms, I remember the first time I ate this many many years ago, I thought and I felt that I was a full grown adult… oh the gifts of being young then haha.

    I hope you enjoy the rest of the week,

  2. That Archie is going to be famous one day. Seriously. 🙂

  3. Haha… You’re right, he could be doing much worse things but thankfully he’s not. Well, at least it’s a good thing that he’s totally up front with everything he’s doing, cause not a lot of kids are like that, trust me! And I’m sure you raised Archie well =) Anyway, this is perfect! I can already see myself eating these by the jars… Yum! Good luck with the party! =)

  4. Those mushrooms look amazing!
    I laugh a lot with your stories, they are so well written and so vivid 🙂

  5. Way to go Archie. He’s right. People do love live music. I know I do. Especially when it’s good and in unexpected places. He’s very enterprising!

  6. Yum! These would make perfect Christmas gifts I think. Lol love hearing about all of Archie’s adventures…

  7. I just love Archie’s creativity and youthful optimism and energy. Ah, to be young again.

  8. Archie is so motivated (when he wants to be) and resourceful! I just know that one day I’ll be seeing him on tv 🙂

  9. What’s the name of his band? I’d love to see the YouTube train performances.

  10. Your mushrooms will be as big of a hit on the antipasto platters as Archie’s music was on the train! I loved your story about having dinner ready for him anyway. 😉

  11. I love that Archie is so enthusiastic and optimistic about everything he does. He seems to have boundless energy as well. Once he becomes focussed on his goals, he can’t help but be successful. You’re terrific being so supportive and feeding that hungry young man is the best thing you can do at this point, I guess.

    Marinated mushrooms … not so appealing to me. 🙂

  12. Go Archie! I love his positive and fearless attitude (which I didn’t and still don’t) have! And mom knows it all that he’d come home hungry. 🙂 I wish I could just jump on and try something new without knowing too much. I got older and (not so wiser) and became more worried as ever. Sigh. I need Archie in my life – but he might makes me worry! Haha. Good luck with Italian theme party. I know for sure this will be popular dish!

  13. Can’t wait to see Archie hit the big screen what an optimistic guy 😀
    Your marinated mushrooms will go down very well in my family 🙂

    Choc Chip Uru

    • Good for Archie… he does seem to have a wonderful zest for life! He’s lucky (and I’m sure he knows it) to have you keeping him well fueled and able to continue having fun and exploring what makes him happy. I vote for posting the video!

  14. What a fun experience for Archie–and what great exposure for the band! Good for him! I haven’t made marinated mushrooms in way too long–love the look of this recipe. Thanks!

  15. Travelling on trains can be quite boring and uncomfortable unless you have a great book so I am sure people would absolutely love Archie and his band. That’s certainly a great way to put himself out there. Clever boy!
    I love marinated mushrooms and they will work perfectly on your Italian platter.

  16. I love his enthusiasm! I’m sure it can get slightly exhausting to be around but he sounds so excited and full of life. I would love to have a band performing on a train that I was on.

    Those mushrooms sound wonderful. Enjoy your birthday party.

  17. Oh these look so delicious!!! Yum!!!

    The only thing I have to say about Archie’s performance is that you should be thankfull your son isn’t fire twirling and shooting flames out of his mouth!! Every Friday night my son and his friends go down onto the beach and entertain the crowds, not for money… Just for fun. Every Friday night I wait for the emergency services phone call!!

  18. That Archie does seem to live a charmed life, doesn’t he? I guess it’s as good a place as any for the band to perform, better than in your living room every week any way 🙂
    I hope your jobs this weekend go well, the mushrooms sound amazing indeed! I’ll go to the markets today, last week local mushies were only $4kg so I’ll see if I can stock up for these pickles xox

  19. I had no idea you can perform on trains. But glad to hear he conjoured up some fans – they must be doing well. Love the marinated mushrooms, it’s the pefect thing to put on an anti pasti platter!

  20. Good for Archie! Yeah!
    These marinated mushrooms look quite tasty & fabuliscious too!

  21. My first reaction was laughing hysterically now that I can picture your face listening to Archie’s plans.
    But… it’s actually a really nice idea. I still remember the Christmas Eve when I got on a bus and the driver had decked it out in tinsel and decorations and was blasting Christmas music. It was the best bus ride ever!
    I’ll have to look out for bargain mushrooms at the markets this weekend. These would make a great hostess gift for the festive season. Love the photo too!

  22. Wow I didn’t expect people to react so well to Archie’s band on the train and that they were even throwing them money hehe 🙂

    How come Archie doesn’t set up a brand on the side of a busy street? Will that be more effective? And less painful for the poor girl with the double base ~

    Ohhh i’ve never seen marinated mushrooms before 🙂 I didn’t know you did catering work too ~ or is this for a personal gathering? Enjoy your weekend xox

  23. I wished to listen to them… Sounds so exciting on the train… Your photographs amazing again, Thank you dear Charlie, love, nia

  24. Archie is both clever and talented. He’ll go far, Charlie – though you may go gray in the process. 🙂
    I’ve wondered how to make mushrooms like this and I’m certainly going to give it a try. Well, once I empty a few jars. I cannot seem to stop myself from pickling or preserving things, so, now I’ve stopped buying jars. If I want to have marinated mushrooms, I need to start eating more jam and emptying the jars! Thanks for sharing!

    • hotlyspiced says:

      Thanks John, and yes, I’ve gone grey already! I thought you would have a recipe for marinated mushrooms, being Italian. If you try these do let me know if I’ve kept up to the authentic and Italian standard.

  25. What a great story of Archie. Sounds like he is a talented guy and I am sure the sky is his limit. I knew that because my son is a performer too. I have not tried making marinated mushroom and that sounds like a good idea to make several for Christmas gifts. Thanks for the idea.

  26. That’s such a cool idea! You’re such a sweet mom to support him!

  27. Love how Archie’s always on the go. Ah, to have that freedom.

  28. Uh oh. It at times seems impossible to catch a subway in New York without men singing/playing instruments and begging for money. Kinda gets awkward… don’t let Archie turn Australia into the same situation! Let’s keep it at just him…

  29. I do love Archie’s exploits. He sounds like such fun, even if a bit challenging (or more than a bit!!) to live with. I am sure the train travellers were bemused and amused and entertained in equal parts 🙂 Good luck for the catering!

  30. Oh YAY, another fun, simple canning recipe! I adore mushrooms, so for sure putting this on Pinterest, so I can remember to make it soon:-) Hugs, Terra

  31. Can Archie come to the next brunch and sing to us? Oh wait, he’ll already have a recording contract by then! 😛

  32. The funniest part of this for me was , what Claire said….I was imagining your face when he told you…he really is an enthusiastic bouncy boy and that is just so great. Your lucky and so’s he. There were some beautiful marinated mushrooms I used to buy in NZ. They were smoked first then marinated. ….That by no means makes yours any less appealing or delicious x

  33. I’ve done a couple of flash mobs with my choir. We pop up in shopping centres and everyone loves it. Archie’s venture is like a moving flash mob. Good on him; it sounds like lots of fun, and who knows where it will lead!

  34. Amazing, I see people playing solo a lot, sometimes two persons but never a band. The public transport company should sponsor them for increasing customer satisfaction:)

  35. I love checking in every day to see what the kids have been up to. Clever idea about the train and as others have said, “it only takes one right person to make a star.” You’re a good mum and you make terrific marinated mushrooms.

  36. I love to hear what your kids are up to! You’ll have to post links to some of those YouTube videos so we can all watch him perform on the trains. What fun! I’m sure people welcome wonderful music and fun on an otherwise boring commute!

    Your mushrooms look yummy! 🙂

  37. Kudos to Archie. Hey, you never know, they may just be “found” on U tube and become famous and billionaires overnight – sounds like a grand plan.
    Your marinated mushies look and sound awesome.
    Have a happy weekend.
    🙂 Mandy

  38. I love how every story ends with “I’m starving, mom!” I’m so glad to hear he’s becoming a train-sensation!! He’s got a lot of talent!!

  39. What a great recipe! I love marinated mushrooms! And Archie really is living the life, isn’t he? I expect to hear bigger and bigger things for him! I wish I could hear him perform. He’s talented enough I just may hear him someday!

  40. Oh marinated mushrooms!! =))

    Sounds like your boy is going to become something big in life. I mean, you need to have guts to do it and he even enjoyed it! I love seeing artists perform on the streets in Europe. When I was working in Switzerland for that NGO on the swiss roads, I came across some amazing talented people. I never understood how people could just walk past them and not realize the sweet music and the quick hands wandering across the instruments. Sometimes it was heart breaking.

  41. Ha, I do quite enjoy the odd live performance in the metro trains in Paris. It’s very common there, although the vast majority of performers have next to no talent, so when someone with real talent comes along (or in this case three people) it’s a real joy to listen to. Good on Archie for doing such a thing (I hope it’s legal though… in Paris you need to get a permit from the transport authority to perform inside their stations or on the transport.


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