A Chilly Ozark Morning at the Farm
We celebrated the first frost of the season with a small fire in the fireplace—-one just warm enough to take the early-morning chill off the bones. Robin did the heavy lifting; I did the pokin’ and stirring.
Off on the Hunt
As the temperature warmed up during the day, I transitioned from the fireside to the outside. Robin, Austin and I climbed into the Jeep and headed for the woods on a mushroom hunt.
The elusive fungi have been scarce this year. Ordinarily, the “Hen of the Woods,” variety (so called because it looks like a ruffled hen), can be found in abundance. But not this year. We found two. Nor did we come upon any paw-paws. Or buckeyes—the Ozark good luck charm.
Don’t Sit Under a Black Walnut Tree
But the colorful foliage made up for Mother Nature’s stinginess with her other seasonal gifts. The black walnut trees had turned yellow and some had dropped their green, pool-ball-size fruit.
Learning to Love Persimmons
It was the persimmons that surprised me. I ate my first one in Missouri decades ago and still remember the mouth-puckering taste. I later learned that they’re sweet and enjoyable, but only after the first frost.
Well, we had a frost at the farm and I gave the berry (yes, it’s a berry) another chance. It was delicate and delicious with a cantaloupe quality and hints of honey. When it comes to persimmons, timing is everything.
Green Eggs and Ham
Though our foraging produced little, our neighbor, Susananne, lessened the loss with some homegrown tomatoes and eggs, so freshly laid they were still warm.
One of the eggs was a pale green. I thought my neighbor might have tinted it for my amusement or as a seasonal salute to Dr. Seuss. But from an online search, I found that certain species of chickens lay green eggs.