Welcome To Our Little Big House On The Prairie

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Great Morel Hunt

Each year after the snowmelt, my husband joins the thousands of folks who scavenge area woods for the elusive Morel mushroom.  Its kind of a competition for him, with his secret spots and yearly go-to destinations.  I don't even know where they're at.  LOL

There's lots of theories as to where you can find them, such as south facing slopes, at the base of dead elms...  Scott has found them on the sides of roads, growing in people's yards, and in the middle of a city park.  Sometimes, they just grow.  I think, for him, the fun of the hunt is better than sitting down and eating them.  This year we will have slim pickings to say the least.  Its been warm early and we've had little rain to keep the ground moist.  The year before last, he found over 40 lbs.  At the going rate of $60 per pound, since the government required a license to sell and an inspection, morels don't come cheap.  Throw in all the time and effort it takes to harvest them...  Yeah.  For people who are buyers, its pricey.  Scott would rather hunt for them.  I even bought him a morel t-shirt a couple of years ago.  To say he is obsessed is putting it mildly.

Last night, he came home with a gallon bucket full.  We all love them, except Ian, so they're pretty much gone as soon as they come out of the frying pan.

Our method of cooking is pretty basic, but oh so good.

First, Scott cuts and and cleans them to remove any bugs.

See the bug?  Ew.
Then, he dips them in straight flour.  No salt.  No pepper.  Nothing.  They are so delicious, they don't need it.

 He fries them in a stick of butter...

until they are golden brown...

and then drains them on paper towels.

At which point, we all devour them as fast as he can keep us supplied.  They don't ever make it to a plate.

I had never even heard of Morels until we moved out here.  Now, its just another hunting season...  Pheasant, Deer, Morels, Fishing...

Its hard to describe how they taste.  They're kind of salty and very earthy.  Their texture is firm without being tough.  They are, oh so good, but you don't want to eat them raw.  They're not that kind of mushroom.

But, I can tell you this:  Once you've had one, you look forward to every spring when you can eat yourself sick or if you're my husband, join in the thrill of the hunt.  ;)


Our Beaten Path said...

This is so interesting to me. I've heard of these mushrooms on the Discovery Channel but not from someone in real life, lol. Too cool!

Jann Olson said...

Oh my, I am a lover of mushrooms. Always thought it would be so fun to live somewhere you harvested them. These look absolutely heavenly. Mushrooms, butter, what's not to love?

RC said...

Oh you made me so homesick! My family is in western WI and hunt morels every spring, cooking them the same way. I'm a transplant to TX and rarely make it home for the season. Thx for the trip down memory lane!

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