The Elusive Morel

 

The forest is silent, particularly so. I walk between trees turning to ash from the fire seasons gone by. As I go deeper into the forest, I wonder if we’re even in the right place. There is no one around, aside from the occasional car passing on the road way back. We give up this spot and return to the car, drive up the road, and park at an area we feel might be a little more… fruitful. We repeat the process, setting out into the forest with our bear spray dangling from our hips, eyes glued to the ground…

And then I found one. Oh, sweet success! Yes! I yell, as I crouch down onto the ground so I am eye to eye with this beauty. A morel, at long last. Like so much here, I don’t realize it’s missing from my life until friends divulge their bounty. Its distinguishable features make it easy to spot, even for a novice like me…though I, of course, referenced my sources again and again before consuming.

From there, we were onto something. I floated through the forest, only stopping at habitats that seemed similar. I talked to the plants and took particular pleasure crouching down and just absorbing my surroundings. A few times I found the motherlode, but mostly I just wandered, finding one here and there. Professional I am not, but we had a hell of a time. So much so that this non-traditional family may have just started a tradition.

Once home, I picked through our bounty before deciding on a meal fit for our treasures. I decide to go classic and cook up steaks then saute the morels in butter and serve them on top. They are outrageous. I am hooked.


A couple resources I particularly love if you’re looking to go on the hunt yourself:

https://wildfoodism.com/2015/04/02/how-to-find-and-identify-morel-mushrooms/

http://fwp.mt.gov/mtoutdoors/HTML/articles/2015/morelling.htm

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