Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Moochers!

Mollymoochers!


Larry decided to go into the woods Sunday afternoon in search of one of his springtime wild food favorites--mollymoochers, known to most people as morel mushrooms. I thought he was too early, but apparently he picked exactly the right day.

I'm sure there are probably more elaborate ways to prepare morels but I do them the way Larry showed me: soak them in cold salt water for at least an hour to drive out any hiding bugs. Then wash, drain, cut in half, dredge in flour and fry in hot oil. When done, the mushrooms are light, crunchy and mildly flavored. Some people think they taste like fish, hence another nickname, wild fish. To me, they are just delicious with a flavor all their own. (I do wonder how they would taste dipped in Sweet Vidalia Onion sauce, though).



A plateful of delight, and this is only half of what Larry brought home.

Where do they grow? Generally, we find them in moist, rich woodland soil and deep shade. The tops appear in early Spring, and in our area only last a few weeks before they're gone--some years we don't find any, either because we were too late, looking in the wrong place or the weather wasn't favorable so there just weren't any. The ice storm of 2003 seemed to have a negative impact on the place we usually hunt for mushrooms, because so many trees fell it changed the conditions of the forest floor from heavily shaded to only partial shade.

Tonight I've been reading about how to freeze morels--I'm optimistic! We may get enough this year to keep a few for winter use. Wouldn't that be a treat!

9 comments:

Farm Girl said...

You've inspired me! I think I will go and see if they are up around here, in central Indiana.

I have frozen them before. I fried them up, let them cool and put them in vacuum bags (I use Foodsaver) and they keep forever and taste just like fresh. I have also dried them on the dehydrator. To use, just soak in cold water, then, fry as usual.

Janet, said...

Susanna, those look so good. Andrew will have to go out looking again. Our son Charley and his wife Jennifer went for a walk on the Rail Trail in Parkersburg and saw some right in the path, but, they didn't pick any.

Granny Sue said...

I want to try freezing them, Farm Girl. Larry will be out looking for them again today probably. He found more yesterday. I think this will be a good year for them.

Janet, I hope you find some!

Matthew Burns said...

It was still too early for them back home this past weekend. My aunt found 14 but they were the early type of morels. The one's like you found will be about another 2 weeks before they come up. Of course, thy did just have 4 inches of snow there last week. I like hunting for them but don't much care for them, although Shirley likes them enough for us both.

Matthew

Mary said...

Marilyn and Larry Kinsella have a morel party the first weekend in May. I believe they prepare them just as you do, and I think they freeze them also.

Cathy said...

Those look so good. I wish my dad would let me go with him when he hunts them but he's so secretive.

Tammy said...

Hey Granny Sue~~
Apparently mushroom hunting is popular in our area of Ohio. My husband has been invited to go with a buddy at work to look for some. I've never had any myself. Didn't know what I would do if he came home with any either...LOL...thanks for the info!

Jaime said...

I still have not tasted Larry's famous Molly Moochers. But he did promise me that he's come up my way and show me how to find them in my wooded area. I'm can't wait.

Granny Sue said...

He'll need to come soon, Jaime! They are up and they don't last long. Maybe early next week he can make the trip.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...