Wheels On the Bus

Yellow school buses are running once again. It seems too early for school to begin. Heat and humidity prevails.

Parents were waiting with their kids. Some youngsters were well-dressed. Must have been their first school bus rides to kindergarten or first grade.

One young fellow’s black and white puppy followed him to the bus stop. His mom came to the rescue.

First days of school–glad to see some traditions never changed.

NO ROOM MUSHROOMS (Fried Telephone Books)

morel mushrooms 2

At every gathering place–rumors flew.  No blindly following the blind.  It was the beginning of a mad rush; everyone for themselves.  Hipsters called them ‘shrooms–to everyone else, they were morels.

“Been finding any?”  Ken the barber asked customers.  Some answered yes.  “Jess Markle was in yesterday–he heard Igor Whatley got himself a couple of gunny sacks full.”  Locations were secret–like fishing holes where big lunkers waited to strike. They were only there for the most skilled.

Ideal mushroom growing conditions were no secret to the experienced hunter/gatherer.  They were prone to sprout up near decaying wood stumps–in forest shade.  Poison Ivy, snakes, and bugs, kept amateurs away.  Pros knew not to touch poisonous varieties.

Delectable sponge-capped mushrooms appeared as soon as weather warmed–when heat and humidity returned.  It was cloak-and-dagger stuff.  There may have been trespassing on private property involved.  Of course, that’s just a rumor.  I’m sworn to secrecy.

Morels, gathered by the bag full, cleaned, soaked in salt water overnight.  Then battered and fried up for supper the next day for supper.  Almost as delicious as fried pumpkin blossoms; come to think of it, just about everything fried in homemade egg batter was delicious.

Maybe even fried telephone books?  On second thought, I don’t think so–not even as misinterpreted entrees in fancy French restaurant menus smothered in fromage.  Many years have passed since mushroom hunting in the Midwest.  I moved away, haven’t participated since.