Ephemeral mushrooms

Unrelated photo: It’s sumo season. Get you some sumo mandarins.

Mushroom techniques

Last night I put a portobello mushroom cap top side down into some hot olive oil in my larger cast iron skillet. I let it cook on medium low heat for about 3 minutes, until the skin started to brown.

While this was happening  I had my other cast iron skillet - the ancient one from my great grandparents house - heating over a low flame.

I flipped the mushroom cap over, gill-side down after sprinkling a little kosher salt in between the gills. I laid my second skillet on top of the mushroom in the larger skillet and let it rest there for three minutes, adjusting it when it threatened to tip.

After three minutes the mushroom was cooked through, about ¼” thick, and nicely browned. The constant pressure of the second skillet drove out all the moisture leaving me with something rich and savory that could pass for a burger in low light.

I cut the mushroom into thin strips, then cut the strips into thirds. I tossed this with some local BBQ sauce from a bottle.

I toasted some slider rolls I made earlier in the week then dumbed a cup or so of pre-shredded slaw mix into a bowl. To that I added a splash of rice vinegar, a heavy dollop of mayo, and a tiny squeeze of honey. A little cracked pepper and black sesame seeds on top. Stirred together this made a nice coleslaw.

BBQ mushrooms on the bottom half of the slider roll, slaw on top, top with a bun. I should have taken a picture.


A little tech talk never hurt anybody.

I don’t talk much about my Real Life™ job in this place. Not because it isn’t interesting, but more because it’s just not done.

I’m in a leadership role at a creative agency. It’s not a secret, of course. I have a LinkedIn profile after all. But, I respect and understand that as a leader and manager my words carry weight and could be considered (legally!) to represent my company. So I keep things off the record, on the QT, and very hush-hush.

I share this (vague) detail because it triggered some other thoughts about art and all the content we consume online

Last week I was talking with my number one about an ongoing project. Briefly (vaguely), decisions about which flavor of technology were being discussed with a level of seriousness that wasn’t required. We  agreed that either choice was no big deal. Really. It was fine.

I said “well, websites should be ephemeral”.

This thought bubbled up from nowhere; it’s not something I thought much about before. Of course, it’s true and it should be obvious. Your website is no more permanent than your last Instagram post. You’re not building a house, it’s just a website.

I think we (we in advertising, marketing, and tech) treat websites with too much preciousness. If we embraced the ephemeral nature, we could produce faster and experiment more. If we could produce faster and convince our clients that websites are ephemeral they could also embrace risk more easily and know that if the website didn’t work, it’s OK. There’s another one right here.

This is art-thinking for business™.

This reminded me that I haven’t made a fully digital piece in a long while. Like I haven’t made an arty homepage in forever. Partly that’s because I’ve fallen back in love with painting. Partly that’s because making real things with my real hands is a welcome break the computer screen.

But I think I’ve got the same fear that my colleagues and our clients have about websites. I don’t really want them to be ephemeral.

This is the part where I take my own advice and learn to embrace the ephemeral nature of digital work and just make some things.

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