The Morel to My Story - Finding the Elusive Morchella
I Found This Mushroom in My Grass
There I was, rounding the corner of my yard with my lawn mower and all of a sudden, I saw it. One, tall, lonely morel standing proudly in a spot of black dirt by a fence.
It didn't follow any rules. There were no downed trees by it. There were no leaves on the trees the size of squirrels ears. It simply was a rebel. Growing there. I have no idea what it was feeding on. There must have been something there that blew in on one of those blustery days.
Since I only had one, I decided not to eat him. I decided to put it in some potting soil and see if I could capture some spores. The spores are usually found in the bark of Elm trees since they go hand in hand in decomposing dead elm trees.
That apparently is why if you go cut down elm trees with your chain saw, the next time you go to that spot - when the sawdust is rotting away, there should be some morel mushrooms munching away. Of course, you have to have good timing.
I don't usually have that.
Of Course I Have a True Story About Morels
The year was 1979. I had just come home from high school. I was one of those girls that loved the outdoors and instead of using the driveway, I scaled the lime cliff, pulling myself up the hill using small trees and hoisted myself over the edge, crossed the meadow to the driveway and then, tripped on a small rock that was by a pile of gravel.
There it was. A fist sized morel mushroom that was growing in the wet rock dust in the gravel pile.I brought it in the house and my mother eagerly began to prepare it to sauté in a small pan of hot butter.
I went back outside. We lived on a 5 acre out lot on what is called the Judson Bottom Road. It was a small gravel road that ran along the Minnesota River bottom.
We had neighbors with woods on either side, so when I went out into our woods, they continued into the neighbors. I went outside and crossed the meadow, crawled over a barbwire fence and entered the woods on the west side of the property.
Mind you, once you got about two hundred feet into the woods, there were cows that were owned by the neighbors. So, I'm assuming that the cows would rub on the trees, which were probably elm and would distribute the broken chunks of elm bark about on the ground.
Anyway, to make a long story short, there were literally thousands of morel mushrooms there. I had to go back to the house and get a garbage bag. You know, the 55 gallon bag size. TWO of them.
My mother, of course, was shocked, amazed and happy. It was truly a bit of good luck!
How About You
Have you ever found Morel mushrooms or eaten any?
My Favorite Method of Cooking Them
Wash the dirt off of the mushrooms, Slice into pieces, bite size. Put some butter in a pan that is hot enough to melt butter, like medium low, and place the mushrooms into that melted butter and sprinkle some Lawry's Seasoned salt on them.
They will change color slightly and they will get tan edges. You can add onions to them if you want, but I really just like them with the butter and the Lawry's. They are yummy.
Just be careful that you blow on them, as the hot butter makes them hot enough to blister your tongue.