Why do the funniest things always happen in church?

I can remember two specific events that resulted in uncontrollable laughter when you were supposed to be listening to the preacher.

In junior high school, all the teenagers would sit on the right-hand side of the church during services. We had reached the point of freedom to sit with our peers and not our families. One Sunday morning at the First Baptist Church in Lexington, a friend of mine accidentally bit his blue Bic ballpoint pen in half. I had no idea that much ink is in a pen, but trust me there is. Blue ink went everywhere — all over his face and his clothes. He looked like a Smurf. Laughter ensued and spread like wildfire. Unfortunately, my mama was in the choir and saw it all. Let’s just say it was a long Sunday afternoon in my room.

Many years ago, we were having a revival at Cruger Independent Methodist Church. A church member walked in just before the service started. His hair was gray up until now. He had dyed it black — I’m talking shoe polish black. That was amusing enough, but right in the middle of the sermon we began to hear a strange noise that became increasingly louder. He had stretched his arms out on the top of the pew, fallen asleep and was snoring — and I mean SNORING! I have never been so tickled and unable to regain my composure in my adult life. Somebody finally woke him up to everyone’s delight. He left the church, and we haven’t seen him since.

Today, I have some church bulletin bloopers that I hope you will enjoy. They tickled my funny bone.

• At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be “What is Hell?” Come early and listen to our choir practice.

• The pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday morning.

• The pastor will preach his farewell message, after which the choir will sing, “Break Forth Into Joy.”

• Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on Oct. 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days.

• Announcement in the church bulletin for a National Prayer and Fasting Conference: “The cost for attending the Fasting and Prayer Conference includes meals.”

• Charlene Mason sang “I Will Not Pass This Way Again” giving obvious pleasure to the congregation.

• Next Sunday is the annual bonfire and hayride. Bring your own hot dogs and guns.

• The church will be hosting an evening of fine dining, superb entertainment and gracious hostility.

• For those of you who have children and don’t know it, we have a nursery downstairs.

• Ladies, don’t forget the rummage sale. It is a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Don’t forget your husbands.

I love mushrooms and so do all the other members of my family. Today’s recipes all have fresh mushrooms as a main ingredient. I hope you will give them a try. Thanks for reading.

MUSHROOM BREAD

1 (8-ounce) package refrigerated crescent rolls

1 (8-ounce) package fresh mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

2 tablespoons butter, melted

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

¼ teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Unroll crescent rolls, but do not separate. Press into a 9-by-13-inch pan. Toss mushrooms with butter to coat, and arrange over top of dough. Sprinkle with cheese and Italian seasoning. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cut into squares and serve warm.

MUSHROOM AU GRATIN POTATOES

6 tablespoons butter, divided

1½ pounds fresh mushrooms, sliced

5 tablespoons flour

3 cups half and half

3 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped

1½ teaspoons salt

8 ounces (2 cups) Gruyere cheese

2 pounds red potatoes, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon paprika

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and lightly spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon butter to melt and add mushroom to cook until tender. Remove from pan. In the same pan, melt the remaining 5 tablespoons butter, and stir in flour to mix until smooth. Slowly whisk in half and half and bring to a boil, stirring constantly until thickened for about two minutes. Reduce heat and stir in rosemary, salt and cheese. Stir until cheese melts. Remove from heat, and arrange potatoes in prepared pan. Top with cooked mushrooms, and pour sauce on top. Sprinkle with paprika and bake covered for 40 minutes. Remove foil from pan, and bake an additional 20 minutes.

AU JUS MUSHROOM RICE

¼ cup butter

½ pound sliced mushrooms

1½ cups long grain rice, uncooked

3½ cups beef broth

2 tablespoons dried minced onion

1 (1-ounce) package au jus gravy mix

½ teaspoon oregano

Salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter in a large skillet. Add mushrooms and rice. Cook until golden, about five minutes. Add remaining ingredients, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to low. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes or until rice is tender and all the liquid is absorbed.

Contact Lee Ann Flemming at lafkitchen@hughes.net.

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