A few days ago, I was out attempting to jog and found the first morels of the season. We had been hiking and checking the same woods for several weeks and had not found any, but I felt pretty confident that there would be a small patch to pick near where we found late morels last year. So, I planned my run (realistically a slow pathetic jog) to end in the morel patch. My jog was not very successful, but I found 2 tiny morels. I felt like a winner; a slow and out of shape winner.
When I first found them, I decided to leave the tiny mushrooms to grow for a few days. I went back to that spot yesterday with my 3-year-old forager extraordinaire and he immediately found them and proclaimed “I got a Morel!” As I was putting his finds in a bag, he was rustling around in leaf litter plucking another one; one that I had been standing right next to and I had not seen. I would advise everyone to take really young kids mushroom hunting. They are close to the ground so they have a definite advantage. I wish I could hire a tribe of three-year olds to pick Morels for me. I would come home with a huge load, and I could probably pay them with ice cream and stickers.
Our little foraging adventure was fun but brief, and we ended up coming home with a grand total of 3 morels. I’m sure the woods will be filled with them soon. But, for now they are pretty small and hard to spot.
Today will be rainy, so I will need to decide if I want to ramble around in the rainy muck hoping for a few more morels for dinner, or figure out a way to make something delicious out of just these few delectable fungi.
UPDATE: I did head back out in the rain that day and I’m so glad I did. The morels I found on that rainy hike are pictured in this recipe. 2&1/2 pounds of them!