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Chicken Scratch Poultry

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Treasure Hunt

With the arrival of spring comes so many things that I love to do after a long cold winter.  With our busy schedule it's difficult to find the time to squeeze those things in, but so worth it if we do.  One of those loved activities is hunting for Morel mushrooms.  It's like a treasure hunt in the woods and the bounty you find is quite rewarding if you're a mushroom lover.  Even if you don't like mushrooms just going along for the hunt is a relaxing day in the great out doors.  This is an adventure all ages can enjoy and it won't cost you anything, but your gas for the drive to the woods.  This was always something we did as a family when our kids where younger. They didn't always stay on task for the hunt,z but it was more of an adventure in the woods for them.  Never once did you hear the words I'm bored or can we go home.
If your fortunate enough to have a friend give you a tip on a good hunting spot your luck is even better.  Several years ago an old fellow by the name of Jim Carlton took my father, my husband and I out to the woods and showed us some of his secret places to hunt.  I know he didn't divulge them all.  I'll never forget how he walked from place to place in the woods and picked Morel mushrooms from the leaf covered forest floor like he had planted them there himself, he knew exactly where they would be. 

One woods in particular that he took us to only produces the white Morels.  They are pretty hard too spot on a leaf cover forest floor.  My daughter Amanda and I took a moment this week and headed out to this wooded area. I found three white Morels Amanda found 0.  As you can see from the photo I took, they are the same color as the leaves.
Later that day Larry and I decided that 3 Morels would never be enough so we headed out again to one of those secret locations we were in trusted with.  It was an absolutely beautiful afternoon as we walked through the woods with only the sounds of the crunching leaves and birds around us.

The best time to hunt for Morels is early spring when it first begins to warm up and just after a warm rain shower.  You want a woods with not much vegetation, leaf covered, where it's soft and mushy under your feet.

The woods Larry and I went to we always find the dark Morels, they are still pretty hard to find just barley peeking out of the leaves.  I found about 12, Larry found only 2.  We decided that the only way he would ever find any is if they tripped him and he fell into them.

We had such a good time walking and talking and just enjoying the beautiful surroundings.  This little stream ran right down the middle of the woods.  I hope to find the time to do this again in the next couple of days.

My dad taught me to always gather your Morels in a mesh bag, like an old onion or potato bag. Which will allow the mushroom spores to spread as you walk and gather.

This is what our hunt produced that day.  It was like finding a little bit of treasure. Did you know that the Whole Foods Store sell fresh Morels for $45 per pound?!
When we got home I soaked them over night in a bowl of water with a little bit of salt, this kills all the tiny little bugs.  The next day they are ready to slice in half, rinse in cold water and fry.  I'm sure there are many ways to enjoy fresh mushrooms here's how we like them and it's very easy.It's finding them that's the hard part according to Larry.  Apparently you need to be short and close to the ground like me.

Fish fry breading or corn meal
We like the fish fry breading.
Beat 2 eggs along with about 2 tablespoons of milk.  Heat your oil in a skillet.   Dip mushrooms in egg and then dip in the fish fry breading, fry until golden brown. 
 Mmmm I can tell you they were delicious! 
One more picture, maybe this is why he can't find mushrooms, he was standing around looking at fallen trees.  I think he was pondering, if a tree falls in the woods and no ones there to hear it, does it make a sound?  Just kidding honey.
We enjoy hearing from you.  Leave us a coment and let us know if your a mushroom hunter. Maybe you hunt a different kind of mushroom.



  1. This sounds delightful! I wonder if Morels can be found in the Willamette Valley in Oregon? I know we have mushrooms. I've always been affraid to try mushroom hunting because of the poisonous ones. But surely I could find someone who knows their stuff?

    I just want to encourage you in your delightful blog and farm. You are doing a great job. I ran across you while dreaming about Lavender Orpingtons. I love chickens and find them so rewarding. I had to take a break for a year (which has turned into two years) and I am so morning the loss of my ladies. They provide so much joy. I'm hoping to get some more soon and can't help but drool over your wonderful array of beauties. I have a serious case of hen fever!

    I know having a new blog sometimes it feels like "Is anyone out there? or am I just talking to myself?" And comments are always so exciting. So thanks for sharing keep it up :-)

  2. Thanks for the adventure! Felt like I was on the trip.