Sunday, April 12, 2009

Morel Mushrooms


"A good mushroom hunter can hear the mushrooms pop out of the ground," so claims my mom. My sisters and I were raised hearing stories of the days my mom, her cousins, my grandpa and great grandpa would wake at the crack of dawn and go mushroom hunting. This was a spring tradition that they shared together. Mushroom hunting wasn't taken lightly in this family, it was serious business! We love to hear the stories of those days and the folklore that the Hay family passed down through the generations. Hunting for morels has strict rules......



Hay family tips to better your potential of finding morel mushrooms....

1. If you need a coat, it's too cold outside to find morels.
2. Don't take a bag to put them in, or you'll never find them.
3. Go with the intentions of picking redbud blossoms and violets, not for hunting morels.
4. Stop for a rest at decaying Ash trees, you might happen to find some morels there.
5. If you are lucky enough to find a family of morels, don't take them all, always leave the toughest and biggest one behind.
6. Never tell ANYONE where you found your morels! (This one is taken very seriously!)


My mom still hunts morels with her cousin and they don't take anyone else with them. To this day I have never even tasted a morel cooked by my mother, they are usually eaten up as fast as they are picked! I think my mom and her cousin are going to let us tag along with them this year, she has a weak spot for those granddaughters of hers and they want to join in the hunt.


To make the morels tasty she coats them in an egg and milk wash, covers them with cracker crumbs and fries them in butter. My great aunt believes they are better in corn meal, but oh no that's not what my mom believes! For more information on morels and recipes visit The Great Morel.

Should you go mushroom hunting take caution and remember this Croatian proverb- "All mushrooms are edible, but some only once."

20 comments:

dongdong said...

that sounds so intriguing. I have never heard that. What fun... like secret society. :)

jumbleberryjam said...

Are we related?!? I was raised hunting morels (even though I loathed the process at the time - the fool I was). Now, I couldn't find one if I fell over it. Speaking of falling over morels, I priced them at WholePaycheck today $50/lb. It's time to go into the mushroom foraging business!

Anet said...

Just last week I was googling mushroom hunting, my son Caleb wants to go.
Hmmm...it seems like tricky business, almost like you need to sneak up on them!
Your family tips are hilarious!

skymring said...

Wow, that's a beautiful mushroom! I've never seen that one before.

Sam said...

That is so awesome! My Baba used to take me morel hunting and I always found it so exciting. We take our haul back home and she would fry them up with garlic and butter and cream and I think fresh dill. To die for. What a wonderful post, took me back in time.

The Magic Onions said...

I loved this post... just a whisper of mushrooms makes me excited. An actual mushroom hunt would blow my mind! I love and totally appreciate how you have to pretend you are NOT looking for mushrooms... same as fairies... you only see them if you pretend you are not looking for them and the rule is to NEVER tell anyone.

Shady Lady said...

This looks like fun! Great photos. I'm always hesitant to pick any mushroom. I can't tell what's safe. I stick with the better safe than sorry method and buy them in the store. Definitely not as fun as mushroom hunting, though.

Wild Gypsy said...

This is a wonderful blog.

I read it aloud to my son, who is the morel man in our family. He says,

"There are old mushroom pickers and there are bold mushroom pickers. There are NO old and bold mushroom pickers."

Also, I adore the picture in your banner and the felt (?) items posted on your gadget bar. Is that your work?

Blessings,
Gypsy

Nerissa said...

I enjoyed reading of your morals about morels ;)

Mona said...

Thanks for the morel tips - I'm wondering about no 2!! But just in case, I'll bring a basket. I've never been on a morel hunt before, but if you replace morel with chanterelle, your story fits my family perfectly. I always felt like a secret agent hunting mushrooms :)

Anne said...

What an amazing looking mushroom.
I don't think we get them down here?
Funny post, I had a good giggle.:)

Joy said...

I have never seen those before. Fascinating!

Dawn said...

I don't know where any Morels grow, but I did get lucky enough last year to find someone at the Farmer's market that sold them. I'm counting down the days until it opens again, and I hope he's back! I like my Morels with cream in Pasta.

the little travelers said...

we're in germany now and these are so popular here! so much fun.

Sara said...

Love this post. Those are beautiful little mushrooms.

Mom, M.Ed. said...

My family hunts for morels (and we tell NO ONE where). My grandpa could tap his walking stick on the ground and I swear...morels would appear there in the next moment.

I LOVED mushroom hunting!

Thanks for posting this--it made me smile.

Annie said...

ha ha ha. Your tips are very good AND accurate!

Super Fun Mama said...

My favorite food in the world is Morel mushrooms. I go crazy for them! I grew up morel mushroom hunting too. We don't own land, so I don't go now. I'm going to try and find some place to go this year. I grew up with several of rules you mentioned but have a few more. I was always told to look under pokeapples. Also around logs.

Jane said...

I always thought it would be so fun to go mushroom hunting, but I think that the old Proverb as been one of the things that has made me think twice about it. The only eating it once bit : ) I always felt I needed to learn alot more about them : ) I hope that you and your daughters do get to go. what a grand adventure that would be an some great knowledge to recieve : )

sarah in the woods said...

Sounds like great fun, and I bet the rewards are delicious! I'd love to go morel hunting sometime!