Friday, March 27, 2015

A HUNTING WE WILL GO

It's been four or five years since the last "big year", but I finally got word that wild morel mushrooms had been spotted in Wimberley. I actually danced around the house squealing "OMG! OMG! OMG!" upon hearing the news. Apparently, you need a nice wet winter for them to pop up, and that's something we don't get very often around here.


The friend who alerted me (I can't tell you who or where) was kind enough to let me come over to pick a few. I felt kinda bad, 'cause she didn't have all that many, but I just couldn't resist the thrill of the hunt! I took Hubby along for the ride, since he has never experienced this before. Those few minutes were all it took for the foraging bug to be imbedded, for he spent most of the next afternoon doing this at our place.


Alas, no morels spotted here. But we do have asparagus!


Now it's time for my disclaimer. As you know, picking the wrong mushroom can be quite deadly. I always swore I'd never take that risk, and 'though I eventually caved, I do not take it lightly. My friend and I have both done our research. Morels are fairly unique and there are definite traits that set it apart from false morels, but there is always a risk. I highly recommend going with a very experienced forager until you know exactly what you are doing!

Anywho, lucky for me, Hubby had other plans last night, and I didn't have to share my bounty!


Just as well, as there really wasn't enough for two. Plus, it's one thing to take a chance on making yourself sick. But when it comes to risking another's health? Well now, that's a whole 'nuther ball o' wax!

If you are ever blessed with the gift of some safety-guaranteed morels, here is what you should do with them. First of all, you must cook them. They are not a mushroom to be eaten raw. There are many different ways to cook them. Some recipes include herbs, shallots and wine. Others involve a good dollop of cream. But, for your first taste of morels, I recommend something simple that lets the full force of their natural flavor shine through.

(10 - 12 side dish servings)

1 lb. fresh morels
all-purpose flour
1/2 c. butter
sea salt

Place mushrooms in bowl. Cover with water and a dash of salt. Soak 10-15 minutes. Drain, rinse, repeat twice. (this gets rid of all the little buggies and such)

Pat mushrooms dry. Trim stem ends if necessary. Slice lengthwise in half (quarter if large). Toss with flour to coat.

In a 12-inch skillet, melt butter on medium. Cook mushrooms 3-4 minutes, gently stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Sprinkle with sea salt and serve warm.

Now I'm off to see if I can't find this film on Netflix!
 

3 comments:

Donna Lange said...

So cool! I do not think I have ever seen these mushrooms. Have a great weekend!

Corrine at sparkledaysstudio.com said...

Woohoo morels and fresh asparagus, what could be better. Yum. xox

Hill Country Hippie said...

My first mushroom hunt, not long after I'd finally moved here full-time, was one of the most exciting things I'd ever experienced. I swear, it's better than finding gold or oil on your property!