|Morel mushroom slightly larger than a baseball in its natural habitat|
This picture was taken on Easter Sunday when I was at last able to get out into the woods to hunt for then little fungi I love to eat. Because of the dry spring we have been having, carried over from the dry summer, fall and winter we recently had, I wasn't expecting much. Although I was surprised that we did find quite a few, it was still a lackluster performance compared to recent years. We didn't find any gray morels which are the first morels of the season to appear. However we found their larger and yellowed colored cousins scattered throughout the woods. Normally we would find a 'mushroom machine' which is the term I give for a recently dead elm tree and you would be able to pick a dozen or more mushrooms from near its base. But this year with the dry conditions, we only were able to find three or four morels under any mushroom machines that we located. Added to those we just find scattered throughout the woods, we ended up with a smaller than normal harvest of perhaps three pounds. My share of the loot fit into a 2.5 gallon ice cream container which is enough for a half dozen good messes to cook up.
I cooked up the first mess last night by sauteeing them on the grill with some fresh picked asparagus and some mushroom burgers. I topped the burgers with more morels, placed them between a pair of grill toasted buns and ate the asparagus on the side. Life just doesn't get any better.