Astrid L.is the pseudonym of an Australian writer living in France who has had short stories published in a variety of countries and magazines all over the world. Her first piece of published erotica was in Mind Caviar, to which she is now a regular contributor. She is currently working on an erotic cookbook with short stories to complement each recipe. If you'd like to read more of her poetry or fiction, she is currently published in Ophelia's Muse.
Mushroom Strudel is an extract from "The Cooking Lesson", a chapter of Sensually Simmering by Astrid Mistrale. See more of Sensually Simmering at AstridLís Pages.
Simone left her Renault behind Steven's Jeep and ran to the front door of the cottage. She pulled the fur-trim of her hooded parka close about her cheeks, then she thumped the brass horse-head knocker and waited. She thumped again. Wiggling the round knob Simone found the door unlocked. She pushed it open. A slapping sound came from the kitchen. She edged closer.
A young woman in an oversized sweat shirt and large woollen socks stood with her back to Simone. The girl was engrossed in slapping a white mass onto a marble slab and kneading it. Dark red curls tumbled over her shoulders. Her hips rolled as she dipped to her knees, baring a decollete of buttocks beneath French silk panties.
Simone cleared her throat. The girl spun around. Green eyes looked Simone up and down. Simone felt a prickly warmth creep up her neck. Who was this girl? Where was Steven? What was she doing here in Steven's clothes?
"Bonjour," said Lucia.
"I was looking for Steven, the Englishman. Are you ... a friend?"
"You could say that. My name's Lucia. You must be Simone."
Simone froze. "How do you know? Where is he?"
Lucia turned back to the table took up the white mass of dough and slapped it once again onto the marble slab. "He went to chop wood," she said. "He was out all morning ... picking mushrooms."
Simone's eyes fell on the rough wicker basket heaped with autumn's spoils: yolk-yellow chantrelle, translucent grey oyster mushrooms, black wizened morels and the creamy-white king bolete with it's brown fleshy ridges on the underside.
"You have to be careful," she said. Lucia kept kneading. "I told Steven which ones were poisonous. There were some he didn't know."
There was something disturbing about the young woman. Simone felt her cheeks warm like a pre-heating oven, mixing emotions of jealousy, sadness and seduction like forest scents or fresh, yeasty dough. Simone slipped off her parka and hung it over the back of a chair.
"I'm making Strudel," Lucia said. "Mushrooms. Wild ones. Although I shall mix in the shiikate." She turned her green eyes on Simone. "Don't you think they'd give it an exotic touch?"
Simone fingered the mushrooms in the basket. She glanced at Lucia bearing down on the dough. "Do you want me to help? Clean them?"
Lucia nodded. "Take that apron over there." She stopped, both hands resting on the dough. "The oven's heating. Don't you want to take off your pullover?" she said, her eyes travelling over Simone's ochre mohair.
Simone pulled off the mohair and attached the apron, slipping the fastened bib over her head. The apron skirt dipped down to protect her front.
"Perhaps knead the dough. It's quite tiring," Lucia said and sprinkled more flour on the counter. "So that it won't slip," she added and pushed a strand of hair from her forehead with the back of her hand causing tiny speckles of flour to trace her jawbone.
Simone wiped her hands on her apron and plunged both hands into the dough.
"Push down, Simone. Push with both heels of your hands. Draw the dough back with your fingers. Keep the rhythm."
Simone pulled and pushed, and pulled and pushed. Her whole body was moving in harmony. As she leant forward to push with the heels of her hands across the counter, her knees bent so slightly in a rolling motion that swelled through to her shoulders bearing down on the dough.
Lucia took a step back to gaze at the hypnotic movement. The only sound was the cool flap flap against the marble and the sound of rhythmic breathing. Simone kept on kneading, eyes half closed.
"That's good," Lucia said and began cutting earth and rough edges from the mushrooms.
The pearly dough felt like silk in Simone's hands. She bore down, kneading, building up a gentle rhythm. It had a strangely calming effect, yet gave way to a prickling about her chest. As she loosened the buttons of her moss green silk blouse, her eyes met Lucia's.
The younger woman held the creamy crown of the king bolete and was plucking away the fleshy stem. She ran her fingers over the inside ridges almost as if in a caress. "It's so soft, so fragile," she murmured. "Yet so resistant."
Simone felt a triggering in her core and lowered her eyes to concentrate on the dough.
"Ever done this before?" Lucia asked.
Simone looked at Lucia. Her throat blocked the sound of her voice as she slowly shook her head.
"Mushroom strudel... I mean," Lucia said. Her green eyes laughed.
So she's calling my bluff, Simone thought. The strange thing was that it had become a game, and each layer of apprehension was slowly being stripped away. No longer jealous, Simone found she was becoming the object of Lucia's desire. It was an unusual and new feeling, even if it felt like being equated to the insides of a mushroom. Simone laughed.
Lucia looked up, puzzled. "May I share?" she asked.
"Seems to be what it's all about," she said. "The king bolete certainly is a magnificent specimen."
Lucia pulled off her sweatshirt and stretched her arms. "It's getting hot," she said.
"Indeed," Simone said with a smile.
Lucia looked down at her oversized socks and giggled. Her silk camisole top barely hid the tautness of her nipples. Simone felt a gentle wave push through her at the sight of Lucia's arousal. How was this game to be played? she thought. Just let the wave carry you, a voice inside her whispered.
Then Lucia came round to Simone's side of the table. "Aren't you hot? We're all alone here, you know. Just us girls." She smiled as she slipped the tape of the apron over Simone's neck and let the bib dip down to her knees. Simone closed her eyes as Lucia's fingers slipped each pearly button of her blouse through each snug buttonhole. Her breasts ached for attention as tiny ripples ran within her.
"You're lovely, Simone," Lucia whispered behind her ear and gently teased a finger about one nipple. It hardened instantly.
Simone's pulse raced. She didn't move, almost swaying in a trance to the stroking of Lucia's finger.
"There that's better," Lucia said as she slipped the blouse from Simone's arms. Then she brought the bib back over Simone's head. "Want me to handle the dough a while?"
Simone nodded. She glided to the other side of the table. The mushrooms were soft and pliant under her fingers. She cut through them easily with the sharp knife, like cutting through room-warm butter.
"I've already chopped the leeks, the shiikate and the walnuts," Lucia said. "Just mix them in and add the oregano, sesame seeds and pepper ... as you would in your own kitchen," she added with the hint of a smile.
Simone's fingers sifted through the browns and beiges and ambers, revelling in the change of textures from the soft and moist of the mushrooms and leeks to the hard, smooth feel of the walnuts. She added a generous dollop of soy sauce and mixed in some cooked rice, breathing in the precious aromas released by her ministrations.
Lucia rolled out the dough. "It has to be very thin," she said. "Almost see-through, like the silk of your blouse." One strap of her camisole had slipped from her shoulder. "We can spread the mushrooms. Come. Help me roll the strudel."
Simone carried the bowl of sliced mushrooms back to Lucia's side. A rich scent rose to her nostrils - an exciting blend of fresh dough, forest musk and a hint of jasmine. She could hold back no longer. She placed the bowl on the table and her lips caressed Lucia's shoulder. Gingerly she slipped a finger under the strap of the camisole bringing it back up Lucia's arm. Her hand brushed Lucia's nipples peaking through the sheer fabric. All she could hear was a faint swishing of silk and the beating of her own heart. With both hands Simone pushed up the camisole and buried her face in Lucia's breasts. Lucia sighed and caressed Simone's head. "It has to bake for 40 minutes," Lucia said. "Let's finish the strudel first."
Simone drew back flushed. She watched Lucia expertly roll the mushrooms in the dough and place the horseshoe shape on a tray. With a brush she stroked melted butter over the top. "To make it glow," she said. Then she popped the strudel in the oven. Wiping her hands on Simone's apron, she said: "Do you trust me, Simone?"
They were breast to breast. Simone searched Lucia's face. "Yes," she said simply. This young woman had opened up new sensations, ones she had never known. She was introducing her to new delights, recapturing a youth she had let slip away. How could she not trust her? "Yes," she said. "I trust you, Lucia."
"Then turn around."
Simone turned, obeying as if in a trance.
From out of nowhere, Lucia slipped a black satin sash over Simone's eyes and tied a bow at the back of her head. Simone saw nothing, yet her senses were heightened. The scents of the forest, of rising yeast, of baking warmth, enveloped her. She heard the gentle dribbling of the tap in the sink, the swishing of movements. Lucia's? Was she leaving. Simone's heart raced again. She couldn't leave. Trust her. Trust her.
"I'm here, Simone," Lucia said. "Imagine. Just imagine a winter's warm dessert, the smell of nutmeg, cinnamon ..."
Simone closed her eyes beneath the sash. She could feel the warm tingle of cinnamon as a warmth rose around her. The back of a strong, gentle hand stroked her cheek. As firm fingers slipped down the side of her neck over her chest and large warm hands cupped her breasts, she smiled and stretched her hands out to feel lean, naked masculine hips beneath her palms.
Slowly she moved her palms to each other, her fingers outstretched, feeling the tight mound of an abdomen; the heels of her palms grazed coarse springy hairs and as her thumbs came together something strong, soft and alive nudged them away. Simone slid to her knees and took Steven's strength, knowing she must drown in the nutmeg taste of him.
Copyright © 2001 Astrid L. All rights reserved. Do not copy or post.
Recipe For Mushroom Strudel
450 g (1 lb) long-grain brown
Cook the rice in boiling water for about 20 minutes. It should be tender. Drain it and set aside to cool.
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