The Elusive Morel Hides No More

We found some morels!  We finally found some wild morels! Eric, Toby and I went for a hike on Sunday, and Eric spotted one within minutes of getting out of his car: The tiny fleshy fungus rose proudly from a pile of rotting leaves, near the base of a gnarled old Ash tree.

Unlike previous foraging expeditions, we hadn’t gone out specifically to mushroom hunt.  Our intent was to hike.  But when we reached the trail head, Eric noticed all the Ash trees and thought the forest could be productive morel habitat. And it was.  We collected nine morels. I found three or four, and Eric spotted the rest.

The experience of discovering the mysterious little mushrooms was like finding gold. Honest to G-d. That’s the way I described it to Eric at the height of my excitement while we were in the woods.  My analogy is not so far-fetched: Morels are that rare and valuable. One pound of wild morels retails for $40. Our nine blonde morels probably weighed about 12 ounces.  They were nice and plump.

Since morel season is just about over, Eric and I are very excited to have a good spot for shrooming next spring.  We’ll pick a bunch for ourselves and sell the rest.  If you’re interested in buying some morels, place your order now!

Eric and I are hoping we’ll get some rain in the next day or two so that we can go back to our spot and hopefully harvest one last crop.  I *really* want to make a morel and ramp quiche and a morel risotto.

We cooked four of the morels last night in some butter and sherry and ate them with grilled ribeye steaks and garlic toast.  Even though Eric was certain the morels were not the poisonous “false morels” because the mushrooms’ stalks were hollow and the ridges symmetrical, I was still a little nervous about eating them, having never before consumed a mushroom I’d picked in the wild. The mushrooms were delicious, though they tasted faintly of dirt (to me) despite my efforts to clean them thoroughly.  I did not get sick, nor did I have visions of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds after eating them, for better or for worse.

We’ll eat the rest of the morels this week.

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One thought on “The Elusive Morel Hides No More

  1. When you pick them, be sure to give them a gentle shake over the area so that the spores drop down onto the ground, thereby ensuring future morel growth in the same spot. Another thing you can do is dump the water you soak them in there, too.

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