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The Elusive Morel

April 26th, 2010

Several years ago Mr Chiots and I found our first morel. We’ve been gathering them and eating them or giving them away ever since. It’s always great when you can harvest from the wild that you don’t have to grow yourself, especially when it’s something as expensive as morels.

Last year the morels came out the day before we went on vacation, so we gave our harvest to my grandpa, who is a huge mushroom hunter. He’s even take vacations specifically for hunting mushrooms. Needless to say he was thrilled when we showed up with a pound and a half of them for free, no hunting involved on his part!

It’s kind of funny because so many people we know have secret morel hunting ground. They won’t reveal their spot to anyone. We’re lucky because we don’t have to go much farther than our backyard for our mushroom hunting adventures.

This past week was the week for morels here in our neck of the woods. We got a fairly good harvest, around a pound. I never pick them all, I always feel like I should leave a few for propagation. I also carry my harvest in a mesh bag, I’ve read this is the proper way to harvest mushrooms because then you disperse the spores when you walk around.

The morels paired perfectly with a venison roast and all those tiny onions from my garden (which happen to roast up perfectly when left whole). I roasted the venison and mushrooms with a good marsala wine, some homemade butter and homegrown garlic. You just can’t get any more delicious for a foraged meal! My parents joined us because a good meal is always better when shared with company, and my dad’s the one that took Mr Chiots hunting for the first time last year.

One of the things I’d love to learn more about is mushroom gardening. I love all kinds of mushrooms and would be a happy gardener if I could pick oyster, shiitake and lion’s mane mushrooms in my own back yard!

Do you hunt/grow mushrooms?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.