I expected today's work adventures to end with a camera full of lovely photos of the wetlands I explored and the wildlife I encountered in western Kentucky, but it turns out that the highlight of the day was not bright fall foliage and creepy crawlies. In truth, the wetland was mostly cold and muddy, which may be some of the reason that taking a lunch break at the local barbecue ranks higher in my memory than mother nature. Of course, any restaurant that features a drawing of four pigs bathing in BBQ on their menu is going to get extra attention from this carnivore! We could smell the meat cooking from the parking lot, so I knew it wasn't going to disappoint. When the waitress's opening comment to us was a grumpy complaint about a regular customer who always puts the window blinds up without putting them down before he leaves, I knew we were in for a treat. I figured that any restaurant that doesn't rely on sweet talking waitresses, but can still fill the seats with what appeared to be every retiree from the whole county, is going to have some tasty food at a reasonable price.
It's no wonder I didn't find inspiration in the wetland. Who can pay attention to their work when they have this lovely variety of rich foods coursing through their blood stream? The pulled pork was delicious, and the barbecue sauce was a perfect balance of sweet, vinegar, and spice but it was really the creamy hash brown casserole, sweet potatoes with brown sugar and pecans, and hot greasy cornbread slathered in butter flavored spread that really got my triglycerides excited. And all for only seven dollars! Oh my!
And who know deep fried dill pickle slices could be so darned good?! I'm serious, they were worth every penny of their dollar cost. When my coworker ordered them I was skeptical, but then I tried one and had to try a few more to make sure I wasn't imagining them.
And to add a touch of authenticity, both of us were served on broken plastic plates. We decided these must provide that real barbecue experience as the sauce leaks through the plate onto the table and makes a mess, so we got to use the roll of paper towels that was placed at each table. The devils in the details, right?
The after lunch wetland did have some fun discoveries, as we found a huge oak tree with a twenty foot circumference, and these two huge mushrooms in the photo above.
I sent photos to my mushroom hunting friend and she tells me that they may have been maitakes, or black staining polypores, which are both edible. I didn't harvest them, but I imaging these big guys would have been more mushroom than I would have known what to do with.