One night, I was sitting out front, enjoying some fresh air.
I looked over and saw something in the front garden that I thought was a funny looking pine cone?
I walked over to take a closer look and realized it was a mushroom. I had just seen one on facebook exactly like it, so I took a photo and posted it, super excited about my find. I had never seen such a cool mushroom in nature like this and I had a feeling it was something really special!
I spent some time looking around and found one more under a bush in the front garden but didn’t find any others.
A few people posted on facebook that it was a Morel and I did some research as well and confirmed it was indeed a Morel, and not just any morel, but a golden morel. They were known for being the best tasting mushrooms of all the mushrooms anywhere and here I had two of them!!!
One of the two morels I’d found came out of the ground pretty much when I touched it. I hadn’t meant to pick it but it seemed it wanted to be picked. I learned that if it was an edible morel, it would be hollow inside and have a nice white to beige coloring. SCORE!!!!! It was edible! YAY!
I talked to my friend Melba who was, to me, a mushroom expert! She was very excited for my find and wanted me to send them to her across Canada. LOL. Sorry my friend! She told me that Morels usually grown in patches and to look harder. There were most likely more in the area. I had already searched what I thought was very well but the next day I proceeded to look harder and I found more! I found lots more!
I found them all in the same type of area, wet but not soaking wet, mulchy areas with the same type of plans surrounding them. I ended up finding about 20 of them in total. Some were very very tiny and a few were big, but most of them were around 6-8cm’s. Two of them had come out of the ground while I was locating them so I took them inside, cleaned them and cooked them in butter as I was advised to do. I was to eat a small amount and wait a day or so to ensure there was no bad reaction.
If you do not cook them long enough, you can get very sick as they do have some toxins in them, but cooking them removes the toxins. They were delicious!!! They tasted nothing at all like mushrooms but sadly the only way I could describe the taste was amazing!
It had rained alot in Muskoka the last few weeks and everything was very wet, even the morels. I learned that they should be dry to the touch when you pick them, and to pick them in the morning.
I waited until Saturday morning and they were mostly dry to the touch and it was morning, so I decided to pick the ones that were big enough to eat.
I ended up with a decent amount considering I originally only thought I had two of them. I left a few of the teeny tiny ones to let them grow and another one as a test. I put a stick beside it to see how much more it would grow and checked it every day.
So far it had grown about 3 cm’s in 3 days. Pretty neat. Back to the ones I picked.
I continued to go back online and check different websites on the best way to pick them, clean them etc. I was advised to run them under cold water gently and try and clean out the holes, as they may be inhabited with bugs and little creatures. Then it said to soak them in salt water for 10-30 minutes but no longer.
I was very glad I went through that process as there were worms and bugs crawling around in the bottom of the bowl once I had waited the allotted time. YUCK!
After rinsing them and soaking them I cut them open and put them on paper towels to dry a bit and see what I had to work with.
The one above had some weird blotchy spots in it so it was thrown out, sadly, it was one of the few big ones I had, but there was no way I was taking any chances on getting sick with these.
The rest I cut up into similar sized pieces and spread them out on my dehydrator trays. The tops on one tray and the stems on another as they would likely have different drying times. I was told by a chef I’d met the day before that dried morels are even better than fresh cooked ones, so I decided to dry them and use them to make some delicious pasta/morel camping meals!
This is how much I ended up with, just a small ziploc bag. Not very much, but I was still very very grateful that I found them and for all the input and advice I received from the internet and some knowledgeable social media people.
This is the very first time I have ever foraged, even though it’s where I live, the owner of the house had no idea about them, and had no interest in them, so I figured I should ensure they were put to good use.
I hope you enjoyed my post and learned as much as I did about these amazing mushrooms. Maybe you have some in your yard and had no idea what they were. Just make sure that you check with reliable sources to ensure you are not eating something poisonous or dangerous.
Here is the link to the video on this post!
STAY TUNED! I HAVE A VERY SPECIAL TRIP COMING UP SOON THAT WAS POSTPONED LAST MONTH DUE TO ILLNESS!!!
I CAN’T WAIT TO SHARE IT!