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The State of the Nation

Starting Over Again

Only the Lonely

Nine Things I will Miss about Thailand


Just Do It

Ayr on a Shoestring

Oh Lonesome Me

Tipping Point

Movie Reviews

Putting Pen to Paper

A Year to Remember

A Year to Forget

10 Reasons I Cannot Go Home

China Girl

The State of Play


Mind Your Language

New Horizons



Taxes and Death



Grey is the Colour

Beating Myself Up

Nothing More to Say

Better Late than Never

Staying Put

Musical Chairs


A Dog's Life

A Sabbatical

A Welcome Diversion

A Guide to Business Ethics

Remembering the Austin Allegro

Our Lords and Masters

In Transit - Part 2

In Transit - Part 1

Nagging Doubts

While Bangkok Burns

An Evening to Remember

Thai Business Malpractice

The New and the Old

Christmas Lights

Groundhog Day



Adventure is Out There


Grabbing it While You Can

A Few Ups and Many Downs


Pack Up Your Old Kit Bag







Ate Two Caesar

Swine Pie

The Thai Rollercoaster

Stuck in the Middle

There's no Regrets

Profit and Loss

Running on Empty

Getting it out Your System

National Mistrust

Bring in the Old, Out with the New


I am Reviewing, My Situation...

Wat Phrabhat Nam Poo

Today I will Mostly be Eating...


The Thai Experience

Wat Khaowong

Reality Bites

Wat Simalais

Amazing Thailand

He Must have a Big Wand

Right Place, Wrong Time



And it does go on


Bring Him Home



Listening to my Reader.



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Diary Archive 1.





If we go to Bangkok I like to find time to eat the steak and kidney pie at the Huntsman pub in the Landmark hotel. I don’t miss many things from the UK but this is one treat I don’t make for myself at home. Except it is not a steak and kidney pie, it is a steak, kidney and mushroom pie, the mushrooms taking up valuable space that could be otherwise filled by steak, or kidney.

I don’t like mushrooms and I don’t care who knows it. But if you mention that to anyone, friends or not, I get a look as if I just said I like to bugger porcupines. ‘Mushrooms', the baying crowd will chorus, 'but why, they don’t taste of anything? What's wrong with you?'

Now apart from their waste of space in the aforementioned pie it is possible to just remove them. I can choose to flick them at the bartender or make a small mushroom mountain on my plate. “Mai chawp het” I tell the waitress (I don’t like mushrooms) as she takes my fungal statement away, giving me a look as if I just exposed myself to her. I just don't like their taste (and they do taste of something - akin to the musty pocket of the smoking jacket of your pedophile uncle).

They are starting to infiltrate everywhere. On a flight from Shenzhen to Taipei all food options offered contained mushrooms; perhaps not so serious on a 2 hour flight. But they are ubiquitous: at breakfasts; scrambled egg (with mushrooms), at lunch (cod with mushroom risotto) and at dinner (soup of the day, cream of mushroom). And in these instances they are hellish to remove, requiring surgical facilities that are rare to find in chain hotels. Another flight on Singapore Air had all four meals featuring mushrooms and only one allowed me to more easily remove them and flick them into the laptop bag of the person in front of me; (to avoid the disdainful look of the stewardess).

Has that grubby urchin Jamie Oliver featured mushrooms in some Sainsbury advert cooking series? Even mushroom fan-sites seem hard pushed to extol the nutritional benefits of these dark seeking morel so why are they taking over the other vegetables of this planet. Why not cream of broccoli soup, cod with sweet pepper sauce and wild rice and scrambled egg with spinach.

I am not trying to abolish mushrooms, I appreciate there are some people out there without my discriminating palate. Sometimes I cook with them (mushroom souffles with gruyere cheese for example), I just don't eat them. If I find them lurking in my tom yum soup I can pass them to Ploy. But when they become ever present it is time to cry out – to stop this fungal takeover. Time for my steak and kidney pie to be just that, sans puffball.




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