Thursday, May 21, 2009

Nature's Bounty

Do you recognize this little beauty?

It's a morel mushroom - a black one - and are they ever tasty. My husband has a number of morel patches he frequents regularly this time of year; super secret patches. I've been sworn to secrecy never to reveal the locations on the island where these elusive little guys grow. When a friend of ours, another avid morel hunter, moved to Colorado, my husband sat down with him, a map of the island and a highlighter. A was thrilled to discover all of R's closely guarded spots.

Once the black ones have finished, the white ones will appear. Hopefully, that is, if the weather cooperates... They are kind of challenging to find, but I'm getting better at it every year. My husband amazes me - he can spot them growing on the side of the road as he rides by on his bicycle. I on the other hand, have to be practically on top of them before I see them.

We usually find enough each spring to make three or four meals. My husband dries them and then rehydrates them (with water, wine or milk) when he is ready to use them. If you've never had morels before, they have a wonderful, almost nutty flavor. I love them, but I'm not willing to shell out the $20.00 per ounce to buy fresh ones. Having to find them ourselves just makes them an even bigger treat.

15 comments:

Jess B said...

I told hubby last night that we needed to start hunting and he told me "Not yet". If they are on the island already, they should be here...we're probably already to the white ones. I know what we're doing today!! We got two Walmart bags full last time we went and it was so nice to have them in the freezer! (We also dry them)

Christy said...

How fun! I've always wanted to hunt for wild mushrooms. What's your favorite way to use the morels?

Maggie said...

Oh la la, les champignons!

Allie said...

Those are cool looking - I've never seen one! But I don't eat them either. Enjoy! Food always tastes better when you've picked it yourself.

Jeanne said...

Now I know what they look like! Do you have thimbleberries near you? They were my favorite berry as a child and I haven't been able to find any place that still has them.

chimp1cards said...

My dad is also an avid moreler (I love making up new words :-) He is quite disappointed that I did not inherit his taste for mushrooms. I don't understand why. I leave more for him! He has some secret locations on the farm upnorth and near the lake cabin.

The Hubby said...

I have only just learned of thimbleberries a couple of days ago. Yes, we do have them here! Apparently they are more common on the island to our southeast (Bois Blanc.) They only grow in a couple of smaller patches here, but I'll be scouting them out!

cinnamongirl93 said...

I'm glad you know where all of your favorites are growing!
I am one of those rare people that don't like mushrooms.

Lisa @ Life with 4! said...

For me personally, mushrooms have always creeped me out. Especially the ones in your picture. They just look weird!
I'll eat mushrooms if they are cooked in something, never the canned ones (slimy little slugs).
I usually just buy the white mushrooms in the store.
Happy mushroom hunting to ya!

Betts said...

I've never seen them, or if I did, I didn't know what I was looking at. I hope you'll share a recipe or two with us.

nicolette said...

When I first looked at the picture I thought I saw a turtle’s head popping out from under the leaves...!
I loves edible morels. We call them morieljes.

Manoute said...

Hmmm, I love morel mushrooms :o)
I used to go mushroom hunting with my parents when I was wee, not anymore :o(

c|ara said...

It sure feels great to know the spots to look for these babies. I saw on tv how hunters get their dogs to sniff for truffles lying underground. Sometimes I do see people here on the roadside or on a slope picking and plucking something out. I wish I knew what herbal treasures they found.

Stephanie said...

I've never seen a mushroom like that, very unusual. Hunting the seems like lots of fun adventures!!!

pam@gingerbreadsnowflakes.com said...

Oooohhhh! You lucky girl! Morels are our favorite but hard to find for sure. We have better luck finding Chanterelles in fall.

So great your friend shared his secret spots. What a gift to leave you with.