The Filet Mignon of Mushrooms
Last Sunday, my sister asked if I wanted to take a walk through the woods around her house, a little north of West Bend in Washington County, to look for morels. If you’re a fan of mushrooms but aren’t familiar with a morel, it’s like the filet mignon of mushrooms only 3X the price – provided you can find a seller. The beauty is, morels are available for free on forest floors all over the state. Yet the horrible irony is they’re only around for a short window of time in the spring – and that window is closing fast.
It’s been 20+ years since the last time I went morel “hunting”. Life moves too quickly and unfortunately it dropped off my radar. But it just so happened that on this day I had the time available, an invitation, gorgeous weather, and there was proof in my sister’s fridge from the day prior that there were morels to be found.
When my cousin and I hunted morels as kids, we would just toss them into a plastic bag. On Sunday, I learned you should carry them in a mesh bag so as you walk around, spores fall from the bag and produce more morels. That, and a tiny little pocket knife, are the only tools you’ll need.
So that’s what we did. We wandered the woods for about an hour checking around the bases of dead trees and north-facing slopes where morels are most likely found this time of the season. And although we (and by “we” I mean she) only managed to find a handful more, it brought this amazing, stress-free spring activity back into my life and onto my radar. I’m super grateful for that.
Morels even have their own Facebook page which I discovered after the fact but find to be helpful and entertaining. Check it out: https://www.facebook.com/WisconsinMorels