The first mushroom foray of 2013 has concluded, and I found diddly-squat. Well, that’s not true. I found some stuff, but what I found was pretty worthless.
It was a lot of…”Hey, I think I found something! Oh, no, never mind. Just a leaf.” *sigh*
But still. I had fun. And that’s sort of the point, you know? It’s like a treasure hunt. You’re not always going to find the treasure, but sometimes the act of looking is just as entertaining. I disconnected myself from the internet for the majority of a day (gasp!) and I got to walk in the woods (what is this thing called sunshine? it buuuurrrrnnnsss!).
So, what were we looking for? *points to the right side of the page*
These are called morels. They’re edible and pretty rare. They grow from about mid-May to about the beginning of June. It’s a pretty short window, so you need to be out there quickly to look for them.
I know what many of you are asking right about now…how do they taste? Pretty good, actually. I don’t find that mushrooms have a very strong taste to begin with, so a lot of times they’re fairly bland to me. But with some added ingredients, they can taste pretty fabulous. And these did.
We cut them in half (—>) to clean them out and to double check that they were the real morels. There are false morels that are NOT hollow on the inside. You don’t want to eat that kind.
After we did that, we cut them up and added some onions and wild leeks (basically, more onions), and then cooked them up in a pan and added some white wine and a couple other things. Then we just ate them like that! Wow, they were really flavorful. And they would’ve tasted sooo good on a steak.
It’s too bad we didn’t find more of them, but they are pretty rare. We’re lucky we found these! Some years you can find a lot, and some years they’re just not there. It depends on the weather, especially how much rain we’ve gotten up to this point.
But we all got a taste of the morels, and it was fun looking for them anyway!
Next up we had some Dryad’s Saddle. This is another edible mushroom, but only when you catch them young and small enough. If they’re too old and large, they get really hard and inedible.
That’s what you see below, in the pan. The wild leeks are on top (the green stuff).
I didn’t like these nearly as much. They were kind of bland, but that’s really nobody’s fault. Sometimes mushrooms just taste that way, and you can only fix it by taking the time to cook them up in a sauce or by adding them to something else, and we had limited time.
But still! Mushrooms are mushrooms, and I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity. These are mush less rare, but getting them young enough can be a bit of a challenge. We found more of these than any type of mushroom, but the majority of them were HUGE and inedible. You’ll see them in the picture of our findings down below.
We found some other things as well, but those were the two main ones. This was a good hunt, but my favorite one is still the third foray of the year. Last year I found dozens of different types of mushrooms. Not all of them were edible, but it was a lot of fun finding types I had never seen before. Some of them came in awesome colors like bright yellow or purple.
Our next foray will focus on finding black trumpets. You’ll get another post them, sometime near the end of July.
Till then, check out some of the other pics I snapped:
Our loot. Look at all those mushrooms!
Everyone brings a dish to pass, and the food is GOOD. I made broccoli salad.
Probably the most exciting thing I found. Because, you know, deer are so elusive in this part of New York.
Fiddle head ferns! These are edible as well, but only if you grab them earlier enough. These are too old because they’ve already started to unfurl.
My haul. Pathetic. A couple dried up puffballs, a few common mushrooms (no idea what they are), and a couple of fiddle head ferns.
Have you ever found any mushrooms in the forest? Did you know what any of them were? Would you ever eat a morel if someone offered it to you?