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    Entries in hunting wild mushrooms (1)

    Thursday
    Apr142011

    More than a Page Full

    So much to share, so little time.  I could sit here all day - typing, rewording, and getting all my thoughts down on paper.  I have narrowed it down to three.  Three consecutive posts on three consecutive days.  First, Morel Mushrooms!  ‘Tis the season.  Second, vegetable gardens.  We are scheduled for thunderstorms tonight, with more cool air following.  The garden will be planted and it must sink or swim; but I hope to help it along.  Third, but not least, GMO.  Genetically Modified Organism.  Or, GM foods.  Or, yuck!

    Enjoy the following and stay tuned for the rest…

    Fresh, lovely, tastes oh so good, wild mushrooms.  Most areas of the country have their own mushroom treasures, and most are harvested in the spring.  If you have never eaten a fresh morel, you should try to find a local source.  Fresh, from a market, or prepared, at a local restaurant.  They are one of my favorite mushrooms, and like most edible fungi, are loaded with nutrition.  Wild and cultivated varieties differ somewhat in their health value, but most are complete proteins.  Foragers know that wild mushrooms are high in potassium and phosphorus, as well as  B vitamins.  After harvesting, they should be eaten quickly to take advantage of peak flavor and high nutrition.

    Morels grow in woods and forests, preferring the acidic soil from leaf compost.  The dried leaves make  it hard to spot morels, so you must have patience and develop a good eye.  They do have a look-alike called a False Morel, which will make you ill.  Morels look like elongated brains, which is off-putting for some folks.  Colors vary from cream colors, to ash grays, and light browns.  Their stems are hollow, and they feel a little rubbery when picked.  As I mentioned in previous posts, never hunt any wild edibles without the guidance of an experienced forager.  As for mushrooms, even the excellent mushroom books and field guides cannot always help identify good ones from their toxic counterparts.

    Our family, mostly Daddy and his cousin, takes one or two morel hunting forays each spring.  It is very exciting to spot one, and I almost want to holler out each time.  We had our first morel feast last night and I’ve shared some preparation techniques and a few recipes on The Nourishing Home page.  You might also be interested in the post on harvesting wild greens.  Click here for the full article.