I’m addicted…..to mushroom hunting

18 05 2009

The past few weeks have been just awesome for morel mushroom hunting.  I have taken my boys out several times to keep us busy while Dad is away at his bi-annual Boundary Waters canoe trip.  I actually just cooked up a batch a little while ago as a welcome home surprise, but now Jason just called and told me he won’t be home until after midnight – bummer.  We all missed him and was looking forward to seeing him before we go to bed.  I gotta give props to all the single parents out there – it’s hard raising kids alone and I’m sure  glad we’re going back to being a complete family tomorrow.  I don’t know how my mom did it alone with 4 of us – but somehow we all survived.

I found a new hot spot with my sister and I’m not even going to tell J about this one – I”m keeping it all to myself.  Here’s a pic of our loot:

mmmm......tasty

mmmm......tasty

Ha, ha, ha....we don't need no stinkin men....we can scavage for food all on our own!

Ha, ha, ha....we don't need no stinkin men....we can scavage for food all on our own!

Today we headed back out to Grandpa’s and found the largest mushrooms of the season.  They were the golden kind and some were up to 6 inches long.  In addition to dying/decaying elm trees, we’ve had some luck around dead cottonwood trees as well.  Look for soil that is sandy, not rocky, and in an area that gets at least a little sun  (not full sun – but partial).  I’ve found most of mine on hillsides in open dirt areas, but they do grow right in the grass on flat ground as well.

Cheers to finding the big ones!

Cheers to finding the big ones!

There are many ways to clean/cook/store morels, but here’s how we do it.  Slice them in half and soak them in salt water for about 15 min to kill any critters/bacteria.  Dip them in melted butter, roll in flour and pan fry.  Mine didn’t turn out the best tonight cuz I think I used too much flour.  I also just sauteed them in butter (skipped the flour) and they turned out much better.  Jason has made them with panko chips and those were my favorite.  If you’re not going to eat your shrooms within a few days you can dry them out and store for months, if not years, in a container.  We slice them in half, lay out on a window screen for a few days to dry and then put in canning jars.  Once you want to eat them, just soak them in warm water to rehydrate and they should pop back to their original size.  I have also heard that people string mushrooms through thread and hang them up to dry and people have freezed them as well (stays good for several months but not as long as if you dry them).

Well time to go to bed, so I can check my backyard in the morning for my fungal friend……like I said, I’m addicted.

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