Sunday, April 29, 2012

Mmmmm Morels!!!

Yesterday we visited my parents in Wisconsin and we were treated to some delicious morel mushrooms!
2012-04-27 Morels (1)
My Mom LOVES morels and goes out hunting for them every single year during “mushroom season”. As a kid, she always took me with. I know there was a time that I thought it was really fun and exciting to go looking for mushrooms, but then I think we had a few years where we didn’t find very many and I completely lost interest in the “hunt”. Maybe it was the years of “road hunting” for mushrooms with my Mom and her best friend?!? Road hunting basically meant that they would drive around looking for dead elm trees, and then have me (and sometimes her friend’s son) jump out of the car and check out the tree. This often meant climbing over/under a barbed wire fence onto someone’s farm land, dodging piles of cow poop, possibly jumping a little creek, and climbing up a hillside in hopes of MAYBE finding a few of these delicious morels. Did I mention it was often cold and raining? Oh, and then you need to check yourself over for wood ticks after you get home. Does this sound like fun to you???
We lucked out yesterday, since my Mom and her best friend (yes, the same one all these years later!) had already done the dirty work. The mushrooms were found, and waiting in the refrigerator to be cooked. She offered to cook us up a pan of “Sonic Morels” for us to enjoy and we couldn’t turn them down! Anthony does not like mushrooms (or at least the idea of mushrooms), so we tried to make them more interesting by calling them “Sonic Morels”. He did eat a few before declaring they were gross!
Before cooking:
2012-04-27 Morels (3)
2012-04-27 Morels (2)
Yes, that’s butter bubbling in the pan…
On my plate waiting for me to eat them:
2012-04-27 Morels (4)
It’s been years since I have eaten any morels and these tasted AMAZING!
How are they cooked? After you pick them, you wash them off, cut them in half down the middle, and soak in some salt water for awhile. Then you just coat them with flour, and fry them in a pan with a TON of butter. Like a LOT of butter. The REAL stuff. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper while they are cooking, and cook to your desired consistency. I like them a little crunchy, so I tend to cook them longer than most people do.
After eating up about half of my Mom’s stash of mushrooms, she wanted to take us up into the woods behind her house to look for a few more. My Mom walked up into the woods alone first, and came back down to the house to get my hubby and son so that they could go “find” their very first mushroom in the woods. By “find” I mean play a game of hot/cold with my Mom in an attempt to lead him to the mushroom she had already found and left waiting patiently in the woods.
So hubby, Anthony, my Mom and I headed up through the backyard to go mushroom hunting. Once we got into the woods, my Mom was calling out “getting warmer” to me, when I found one. I don’t think she really believed me at first (she had years of my trickery in the woods when I was a kid!) but when I turned and yelled that I had found a few more they all came over to check them out. Anthony and hubby got to pick their very first mushrooms! We did go over and pick the one she had originally found, as well as a few more. After about 20 minutes in the woods, we ended up with about 18 fresh mushrooms! Bless my Mom, she sent them all home with us!

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