1: My grocery store has dried mushrooms. All evidence indicates that they have always carried dried mushrooms. And a variety too. They put them by some fancy crouton looking things and bottles of lemon and lime juice. (check it out, you guys- I'm reconstituting mushrooms for crying out loud!):
2: The cookbook I am using was published in the UK. It took me awhile to figure out that courgettes weren't a new vegetable I'd never eaten. And now I know what passata is. Sort of. I hope to impress someone at a dinner party in the near future with my new trivial knowledge. (Now accepting dinner invitations).
3: Vermouth isn't just for my (extra dry, very dirty filthy) martinis. Vermouth, as it turns out, is a type of dry white wine and comes in handy in Mediterranean cooking when the cook (in this case, me) is steadfast in her allegiance to red wine. Vermouth can be placed in the refridgerator and lasts at least a month (much longer than buying a bottle of white wine that no one would otherwise drink). This also means that the bottle of Vermouth you have in your liquor cabinent from 2002 should probably be given a heartfelt but firm farewell.
No verdict on the actual stew yet. I'm getting better at thoroughly reading the ingredients required for recipes but I still need work on reading the length of time a recipe will take to cook. Turns out this stew takes over 3 hours. Dinner should be ready right around midnight tonight. Meanwhile, it smells so delicious, we'll end up eating peanut butter sandwiches to stave off the aroma-induced hunger pangs.