The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Late morning brunch: Cheesy mushrooms on toast with a dash of spice recipe

Cheesy chilli mushrooms on toast

Cheesy chilli mushrooms on toast

To cut our carbon footprint we decided to combine the post run and the weekly shop and travel to Newmarket in the same car. This meant that Danny had to face an experience that he refers to with tight lipped horror. Saturday supermarket queues.

In fact he hates any sort of queue. Even the queue for the tote to collect his winnings. I now refer to queues as moving lines. This seems to calm him.

As we drove into the Tesco car park we couldn’t find a space. I knew that unusually long moving lines were already threading across his mind as he reversed carefully into a spot that would have worried an Olympian Cinquecento driver.

“Don’t worry. They always call all multi skilled staff to the checkouts when it’s busy.”
This comment had him delving to the pile of baskets in an instant. The large ‘family of fourteen’ trolley worried him.
“I thought that this was going to be a basket shop?”
“We need big items like loo rolls and coffee.”
A remark guaranteed to silence any blip. Danny is addicted to coffee.

We split up to save time.
“You go to the cut price section and I’ll join you when I’ve got the loo rolls.”
As I drifted down the aisles I remembered that we needed furniture polish, fire lighters, water. Gradually the list extended. When I spotted D fifteen minutes later standing beside the cut price section, his neck was ramrod straight. It didn’t soften when he caught my eye.

During a happier shopping together moment, Danny had selected two large mushrooms for Sunday breakfast. Having checked out we found the car and flopped into the seats with relief.
“We got loads of bargains. Just worried where we’re going to store the 16 loo rolls.”
“How much were my mushrooms?”
“£1.29 for the two. They weighed 280g.”
“I could have bought a 500g box for 99p!”
The rage as we shot home made the gearbox irrelevant.
Hours later we discovered that the cheaper mushrooms wouldn’t have been so good when we realised that we’d run out of bacon.

Months of us curing our own had taken its toll. We just don’t put bacon on our list anymore as commercially produced bacon as nothing like home cured. Our butchers shop has packed up. No butcher no bacon.

So I was determined to make the best of those mushrooms. I ‘m not keen on mushrooms with the normal weekend fry up but I enjoyed this dish. When I sliced them I realised that these were superb mushrooms, with dense weighty flesh and loads of promise. Prepared in a rush, the mushrooms simmered gently as I took a shower. Then it was just a case of combining the ingredients and bunging them under the grill/broiler. I guzzled my last mouthful in the car on the way to Cambridge. 

This is an easy and perfect brunch for anyone who is relaxed about having a fuller figure. It would make a great starter or appetiser. Thank you Tesco for charging £1.29 for the 2 chunky mushrooms. I wouldn’t have pulled out all the stops if they’d been cheaper!

Late morning brunch: Cheesy mushrooms on toast with a dash of spice recipe


  • 280g of mushrooms
  • 1 tsp of garlic granules (or fresh garlic chopped very fine)
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • 25-30g of decent grated cheddar cheese (we like Davidstow cheddar that is produced in Cornwall. Available in most medium price UK supermarkets. Wethink that Waitrose Davidstow is the best).
  • I tsp of chilli sherry (a sprinkle of cayenne pepper would do at a pinch)


  1. Melt the butter gently in a small saucepan with a lid while you slice your mushrooms. Toss your mushrooms into the butter, add the garlic and turn the mushrooms over so that they are all coated with butter. Put on the lid and simmer very gently for ten minutes or so until the mushrooms are soft.
  2. Toast two slices of good granary bread and spoon the mushroom mixture over the toast. Grate the cheddar over the mushrooms and place them under a medium grill for a few minutes until the cheese melts. Sprinkle with chilli sherry and lashings of ground black pepper and serve on warm plates.

  Leave a reply


  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Sharon J

    I do hope that you enjoy your dish when the time comes. Paprika sounds good – also smoked paprika could be tasty too.

    I find that chilli sherry is becoming a must have ingredient (used sparingly!).

    Hi Veronica

    Those Scotch Bonnet chillies are really hot!

    I made our bottle about three years ago and chucked in three bird’s eye chillies. I have never removed them. Just a few drops is all that’s needed to add a bit of spiciness to a dish.

    BTW if you have a cold a capful clears your heads in seconds!

    Hi Paula

    It was great comfort food.

    Hi Pamela

    The car pulled into Netto after the Tesco part of the big shop. Loo rolls were on offer at Tesco so much cheaper than the budget stores. We give our furniture a deep polish every six months and keep this topped up with a great spray that’s not available in the budget shops. Fire lighters have changed recently and burn for far longer than the budget ones and work out much cheaper as you only need to use a bit of one to light the fire.

    We do shop around. A lot of the ‘offers’ in our budget shops are undercut by Tesco and sometimes even Waitrose. It does take time but we shop at a large range of markets and shops, that’s how we have been able to save over 50% a week on our average 2007 shopping bills.

    Thanks for the tip about the chilled water – that sounds like a great idea. ATM our water jug is naturally chilled in the chilly kitchen ?

    Hi Sam

    D enjoys shopping alone. This is shopping at his own pace in places without queues!

    Hello Kate(uk)

    Your recipe sounds delicious. Thank you.

    Hi Natasha

    Thanks for the links they look great.
    Hi Kay

    The quality of the mushrooms was exceptionally good.

    Just read your post – real food for thought. Thanks for the link.

    Hello Ruthdigs

    Re chilli sherry. I put the chillies in whole and unsplit.

    Glad that you are enjoying the blog!

  2. Ruthdigs


    This sounds great. I’ve just had a look at the chilli sherry recipe and can you tell me do you leave the chillis whole or sliced open and do you remove the seeds or not?

    Thanks for your great blog.

  3. This post was so timely that I’ve sent all my readers over to consider how spending too much can sometimes help us invest in our skills! And I have mushroom envy now …

  4. Hi Fiona,

    Have you thought of ordering meat in bulk? Have a look at these offers or ring round your local farms, you’d be surprised how helpful people are.

  5. kate (uk)

    Big mushrooms baked upside down in a covered dish- put some creme fraiche on the gills and drizzle with some balsamic vinegar.Yum yum.
    Loo rolls on offer here too- we have an absurd quantity…

  6. samantha winter

    Sounds yummy mushrooms – I am feeling hungry now. T-W-O is not a happy shopper either, could it be a man thing?

  7. A lot of the items you mentioned on your shopping list, Fiona, I would never buy at a place like Tesco. I don’t use furniture polish at all, I prefer the 2 duster system, one just damp and one dry (usually I use microfibre cloths from Aldi)then occasionally, maybe once a year, I give wooden furniture a real feed with old fashioned furniture cream. I’m sure that most people just like the smell of furniture polish but I prefer to open the window for a little while. If you do this in the cold weather you get a real warming workout too. Try visiting Farm Foods with your list before you go to the big supermarket. Things like fire lighters are much cheaper in those discount stores, the name of which escapes me just now. We are lured into expensive supermarkets by the ease of buying everything under one roof, but shopping around can make a significant difference. If you want to save money you have to change your shopping habits. It does take longer but there are savings to be made. I don’t have access to the cheaper shops because they are not here in the very small town where I live, so my saving comes from not using the car and combining shopping with essential trips I have to make. By the way, have you tried keeping a jug of tap water in the fridge? At my Mum’s we drink gallons of tap water because it is always chilled (although funnily I never chill the water at home)and my nephews and niece are surprisingly good at refilling the jug. Sorry I didn’t intend to write so much, got carried away. I wish I liked mushrooms but I just don’t.

  8. It looks sooo good. I must make it too.

  9. Veronica

    sad about the bacon, but this sounds excellent! BTW, I made some chilli sherry about a month ago, using a Scotch Bonnet pepper, and timidly tasted it the other day before putting a teaspoonful in a lentil and sausage soup. My God, It Is Hot!!! I quickly strained it off, removed the pepper, and put the sherry back in the very clearly labelled bottle, which is sotored nowhere near the drinks cabinet 🙂

  10. Sharon J

    I used to make almost the same thing years ago (we’re talking about 25 years ago) only I used paprika instead of chilli sherry or cayenne pepper. I haven’t had it for absolutely ages so will definitely be having it again for lunch some time this week. Thanks for reminding me.

    BTW, I hate ‘moving lines’ too. I get very impatient in them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

HTML tags are not allowed.

2,266,380 Spambots Blocked by Simple Comments

Copyright © 2006-2024 Cottage Smallholder      Our Privacy Policy      Advertise on Cottage Smallholder

Skip to toolbar