Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Nesting Rocks

"You're making shishky, aren't you?" Papa inquired hopefully.
"I'm packing the poppyseed right now."

We looked forward to the crisp air and our limit of crappie and walley fall fishing in Minnesota.
Shorelines would be decorated with orange and yellow fall leaves. Fog would rise from the warm water. The lake might have already turned over. We packed coveralls, gloves, insulated boots, and hats.

Walleye and northerns like small frogs. One evening we came back to camp in the dark. Papa was driving and slammed on the brakes. Small frogs were all over the road. They wouldn't have been in such a hurry to get to the lake, if they'd known the fish were waiting for them. He was so excited he had me stay behind the wheel with the lights on, while he got out with his butterfly net and a Styrofoam bucket.

In the headlights, it was as if the frogs had personalities. One hopped across the road three times and into his net. Another hopped in and back out. One stayed in the same place and jumped up and down. All said and done he was happy as a little kid when he captured five. The refrigerator wouldn't accommodate the big bucket. Papa put the lid on and left it in the car overnight.

I was fixing breakfast when he came in wearing an 'I'm in trouble' look. They frogs had jumped up, moved the lid, and escaped. They were no where to be found in the car. We opened the car doors so they could escape. I was concerned one would pop out when I was driving. We watched two come out of the car. The rest were never found or discovered, thank God!

Our appetites were ravenous, and I loved to cook at camp. The cabin was so small it reminded us of a pumpkin shell with plumbing, but we had room to cook and eat hearty: fried crappie and walleye, homemade soups, breakfasts of bacon, scrambled eggs with potato dumpling slices and shishky.

Papa liked the potato dumpling dough rolled out in strips, then cut into one-inch squares and baked. The Bohemians called it "shishky." We ate it with melted butter, a little sugar and ground poppy seed. One trip we forgot the poppyseed grinder. Drifting near the shore, he spotted small rocks, reached in and grabbed two. I baked and he ground poppyseed between the nesting rocks. Another great trip. Another timeless memory.

2010 Red Convertible Travel Series

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