What does childhood taste like? Is it salty, or sweet? Does it fizz and pop on the tip of your tongue, or does it melt slowly? Do your lips pucker a little, do your teeth hurt? Does it quickly pulse with a sizzle or does it announce itself with steam pouring out of the oven?
This could be almost anything. The dry crunch of a pavlova flaking and crumbling under my fork, or the hot oil stinging my fingers as I reach for one of my dad’s french fries. But today, the flavor of my childhood is the savory creamy comfort of Tina’s peas and carrots. Peas and carrots are too of the friendliest vegetables you’ll find. They go with any main, they’re mildly sweet and enjoyable, they’re easy on any set of teeth, young and old. They get along with everybody, which is probably why most kids will scarf down peas and carrots when all other vegetables are anathema to them.
Tina’s peas and carrots are just a little more special. Mixed with a little sautéed mushrooms and a touch of cream, butter, and chives, they’re still delicate but just a touch richer. I love grinding tons of fresh pepper on top of mine and gobbling them all up. I hope you enjoy this lovely side from my childhood!
1 1/2 cups diced mushrooms
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup diced carrots
salt and sugar (for cooking carrots)
1 bag frozen peas
1/4 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste (for the cream)
2 tablespoons finely chopped or snipped chives
Sauté mushrooms in butter until cooked. Take out with a slotted spoon leaving the juices and reserve.
Cook carrots in a pot of water with some salt and sugar until tender. Drain. Cook the peas just for a minute or so.
In the mushroom juice pan, add the cream with salt and pepper and reduce to thicken. Combine everything and stir in chives.