Stuffed Mushrooms: Shirley Conran


Life is too short to stuff a mushroom.

Shirley Conran 1932-

Superwoman, (1975)
The image is copyright: Andrea Skjold via Shutterstock

Shirley Conran’s series of Superwoman books were essential reading for women in the 1970s who wanted to do as little housework as possible – they were the polar opposite of all the books and magazines that had previously told us how to create the ‘perfect’ home. ‘Life is too short to stuff a mushroom’ became our mantra.

It led to the most embarrassing moment of my honeymoon (1981, since you didn’t ask). Some fly to the Maldives, some take on the Grand Canyon, but Robert and I decided on a nice hotel outside Bath for a week.  We made the mistake of telling them it was our honeymoon, thinking we might get a free bottle of champagne (we did) but we had to pay the price of knowing looks from all the staff. We went to the bar for a drink before dinner and were handed the large and elaborate menu. The hors d’oeuvres included, but of course, ‘stuffed button mushrooms’.

As someone who has earned my living in part from giving lectures in large rooms without a microphone, I have developed, I admit, a delivery which is somewhat over-powerful in the confines of a more intimate environment. My comment, ‘Tell me, how does one stuff a button mushroom?‘ came out more ringingly than I had intended, and unfortunately coincided with one of those occasional silences as the other guests were immersed in studying the menu.


About layanglicana

Author of books on Calcutta, Delhi and Dar es Salaam, I am now blogging as a lay person about the Church of England and the Anglican Communion. I am also blogging about the effects of World War One on the village of St Mary Bourne, Hampshire.
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2 Responses to Stuffed Mushrooms: Shirley Conran

  1. I read that book too (in the 1970s) and ‘life is too short to stuff a mushroom’ is still one of my mantras. I never have and never will stuff a mushroom, not even a giant-sized one – as for stuffing a button mushroom – well I think life is for living.

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