Lowell posted that they were frying up the season’s first morel. Morels. My most favorite food in the entire realm of culinary possibilities. I sat reading the post craving those tiny morsels. I love the mushrooms and love the hunt even more.
Doris came into the kitchen. Her apron was folded over. A big smile on her face. She had just returned from a walk in the thicket. She unfolded the apron exposing a few lovely morels, the first of the season. I don’t know who loved the mushrooms more the Lavy’s or the Loxley’s. Seems to me that there was always enough mushrooms to go around each spring. It was always fun to see who would find the first. Not long after Doris showed us her find, we were out the door heading to the thicket.
A couple of years ago while visiting my sister, June, we stopped at a stand selling mushrooms. We took a bag of spendy tidbits home for a savory experience. Butter, flour, mushrooms. Yep, that’s how Mom did it. Conversation turned to the kitchen on the farm, the hub of most of our growing up. The smells, the flavors, the people who came to visit. The kitchen knew it all. Mom had flour down the front of her apron as she fried up each batch of mushrooms. When we sat around the table savoring each exotic taste, the stories of the hunt began.
“I swear, Pam found was finding them right behind me. I don’t know how I missed them,” Dad would relate. As a child, I always thought I was the great mushroom hunter. As an adult, I realize that Dad didn’t miss a thing. He saw the mushrooms. More than picking them, he loved seeing his daughter find the treasures. It was a time when father and daughter laughed. He made memories in that simple act.
One year we found a few mushrooms out by the chicken yard and Hollie’s field. Fingers were crossed that this would be the new hunting ground. But, the next year, no mushrooms. God has a sense of humor.
I don’t fault Lowell for enjoying his mushrooms, yet for someone who resides 2,323.7 miles away, it just isn’t fair. Okay. I need to be honest. We do have mushrooms in Oregon, including morels. I just have a healthy respect for our immense forests. Maybe one of these days I’ll find someone who enjoys the hunt as much as do I. Perhaps. Until then, I’ll enjoy the memory of Doris with her newly found treasures and enjoy giving her son a hard time about his fried-up batch of yummy mushrooms. Spring on the farm.
Pam Drake is a former resident of Darke County and is the author of Neff Road and A Grandparent Voice blog. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in these opinion pieces are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.