Morel Integrity

It’s morel mushroom season here in the Ozarks. These fungal delicacies usually start popping up around late March, early April. When spring flowers start blooming it’s time to start looking for morels.

Morels… (Is it MOR-els or mor-ELS’? I don’t know.)…cannot be cultivated. They require mysterious conditions for growth that no one has been able to replicate…the right soil, the right temperature…who knows. I have read that there are certain trees (Ash and White Oak to name a few) they are often found growing underneath, but this is not a hard and fast rule. I have also read that they flourish after forest fires.

They like moist conditions with lots of rotting wood and leaves, but most mushrooms like those conditions. I have read that if you try to buy morels, they cost around $20/pound! You can typically find them in the same spot every year. That is why most people who hunt morels will not reveal their ‘spot’!

Incidentally, don’t worry–I would not play around with foraging for mushrooms. There is only one potentially poisonous imposter of the morel, and it really looks quite different.

I don’t know if the conditions are better this year, if we are looking at just the right time of year, or if our eyes are getting more attuned to seeing them, but we have found a bumper crop of morels this year! We have found enough for me to fry them up twice. Bud found 3-4 yesterday after supper and cooked them up, himself. Our largest haul was about 2 quarts worth.

I learned ‘the best way’ to cook these mushrooms from the head of the family of the expert morel-ers down the road. He is one of those who WILL NOT disclose his ‘morel spots’, though he is quick to brag about how many they have found. He and his sons go out gathering morels and then their whole extended family comes to their house for a ‘morel-fry’ each year. It is he who first told us about the morels, and now, it is a regular part of our Spring.

The Best Way To Cook Morels (Not Paleo, Low Carb or Gluten Free)

First you wash them off, then cut them in half. You can soak them in salt water to kill the critters. We have found tiny bugs and small ants inside of the morels. They are hollow inside, which is another way to identify them.

Beat a couple of eggs and dip the mushrooms in the eggs.

Dredge them in flour, and shake off as much as possible. I think they taste better if the flour is not gobbed on there. I discovered that this year. The mushrooms in this picture below have a little too much flour.

Fry them in butter until golden brown! Nothing else will do. Lots of butter. This is half a stick, but I think I should have used more.

Drain on paper towels and lightly salt them. Serve to salivating hungry people! I had to bark at Bud for stealing them while I was still cooking them. I was afraid there wouldn’t be any left by the time I was finished cooking them!

 

 

8 thoughts on “Morel Integrity

  1. I told the children they should look yesterday , but they never got it done, Now I wish I would have taken the time too! THOSE LOOK YUMMY! AND Beautiful! The way you bake them looks yummy !
    Kim

    Like

    1. There is still time! Our neighbor seemed to indicate that the best of the season is still ahead as it warms up more. Usually, when you find one, there are more in that same area. Happy hunting!

      Like

  2. First I’d like to say that I have been learning much about chickens from your blog. My middle nephew is raising chickens and your blog is helping me to dialog with him and it has given me a like comradery also. He has some Production Reds, Rainbows, Leghorns and Wellsummers.

    However reading and seeing the photos of those morels was awesome. God has almost out done himself in the creation of those things. Growing up we had grandma in our house. Her friends from the ‘old country’ (Bohemia) would ship her different kinds of shoons, She would use them in cooking and they made everything taste better. The ones you wrote about are the most beautiful I have ever seen. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

    1. HOW COOL that your nephew is raising CHICKENS!!! I hope that you are able to do more than just talk about them with him, and that you get to actually see them or spend time round them. Chickens are amazing creatures. Even if you don’t touch them, or have anything to do with the care of them, they are fun. We can spend an hour outside in the evenings just watching chicken T.V. Kudos to your nephew. It’s an experience he’ll never forget. I think all chicken owners like to talk about chickens. 🙂

      Bohemia? Wow. What a rich childhood you must have had if your grandmother lived with you and cooked for you. I would have loved to try some of her mushrooms, and I would have loved to have heard some of her tales of the ‘old country’. I also wish I had been old enough to appreciate my own grandparents and their tales…and to have known the right questions to ask.

      I agree with you that God outdid himself with this mushroom. I often see things in nature, and think that very same thing with things that are unique or colorful that really blow me away.

      Thanks for your comment. I’m not any kind of expert, but I learn a lot from experiencing things.

      Like

  3. Around our northern parts they are called mor-ELS. What you say is true that each person has their hunting spot and will not divulge where that said spot is. I’ve never tasted them, but everyone raves about them here too.

    Like

    1. Thank you for clearing that up. I’ve heard it both ways, but our neighbor calls them mor-ELS, too. Mor-ELS, it is. I hope you get to taste them someday, but more than that, I hope that you get to hunt them. Just when you are about to give up, you look down, and a couple of feet away are 2 or 3 of them. There is something very satisfying about eating something you have foraged. 🙂

      Like

I would love to read your comments!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s