It is that time of year again! Spring has (finally) sprung!!!
Better late than never, I always say…
The spring rains come frequently followed by small glimpses of summer sunlight leaving the ground nourished and full of life! It is such a beautiful sight to see green grass and bright flowers popping up everywhere around our farm! April showers (also) bring… MUSHROOMS!
A few Sundays ago, Dan and I decided to get out of the house and go mushroom hunting. The rain clouds were finally clearing out and the sun was spreading its warmth… perfect conditions for mushroom hunting!
We searched through the wooded area on our farm, walking slowly and attentively to make sure we didn’t miss any mushrooms along our path. Dan found one right away which we felt was good sign. Here is how we found, cut, cleaned and prepared these wild, white morel mushrooms.
When you spot a white morel mushroom (shown below) cut the mushroom across the base.
While we were out looking for mushrooms, Dan shared a story with me about hunting mushrooms with his Dad when he was younger. His dad told him and his brother they should call out to the mushrooms in order to find them. He proceeded to teach them the call… Shhhrrrroooooom…. shrrrroooom… (pronounced: SHA-RUUUM-???)
I thought it was so cute envisioning the little boys calling the mushrooms as if they would magically pop up out of the ground on the spot! Naturally, I had to try it…
Shhhrrrrooooommm..?.. shrrroooommm..?.. shrroooom!?!
AND… it worked as we continued to find mushroom after mushroom!!! Ha! Maybe it is the magic call!
The hat we brought with us to gather the mushrooms was soon overflowing! It was definitely a successful hunt!
We found this monster while hunting. It was the biggest white morel Dan and I had ever gathered! Bigger than my hand and over six inches wide!
After our hunt we counted the mushroom harvest and then placed them in a large bowl with salt water. This helps to clean the mushrooms and clear out any bugs! Soak for several hours or overnight.
After soaking, drain the mushrooms and rinse. Cut and discard any blemishes. Cut each mushroom into smaller bite-size pieces. We cut the smaller ones in half and the larger ones into quarters.
Once cleaned, the mushrooms can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, though they are best when prepared immediately.
Here is our method for preparing the mushrooms:
- 25-30 Mushrooms (we found 29 total during out hunt – adjust the measurements based on the number you find)
- 1 c. flour
- 1/2 c. corn meal
- 3 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1/4 tsp. onion powder
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp. parsley
- 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1/8 tsp. chili powder
- 2 tsp. grated parmesan cheese
- 3 eggs
- 3 Tbsp. milk
- vegetable/canola oil (for frying – enough to cover bottom of pan)
Follow cleaning and cutting instructions above before preparing to eat.
- Combine all seasonings, flour and corn meal in a shallow bowl and mix together.
- Whisk the eggs and milk together in a separate bowl.
- Create an assembly line – mushroom pieces, egg wash and flour mixture.
- Heat oil over med/high heat. Test the oil with a drop of the flour mixture. (When it bubbles slightly it is hot and ready.)
- Take mushrooms, one at a time, and roll in the egg wash and then coat in the flour mixture. Then drop into hot oil.
- Fry until golden, firm and crisp. Do not crowd the pan and turn once to cook evenly on both sides.
Best served with an ice-cold beer and ketchup!
Here is the play-by-play starring funny-man Dan…
Mushroom hunting is special for us because there is a small window of time in the spring when the “gettin’ is good.” We take full advantage of it and usually share our gatherings with family and friends.
Frying mushrooms often means a family gathering on a Sunday afternoon. We usually manage to eat most of the mushrooms as we are cooking them. Ah, warm and crispy… with an ice-cold beer!
Have a good one,