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Morel Foraging?


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Depending on where you are - could be the start of the season or too early. I'm up in Ontario and it will be a month, most likely, before they start popping up. Maybe less if it stays warm. But I've heard they're being found in Indiana.

They say that the morels will appear when the oak leaves are the size of a mouse's ear. Or: when the dandelions are blooming. Or: after the first warm rain of spring.

Take your pick. I've never found a hard and fast rule that works.

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Hi mushroom lovers;

You're lucky to find morels at all in any quantity in New England; the soil is too acid compared to the great morel hunting grounds in places like Michigan and Iowa.

I'm in northern Mass and it's still early, I would say first week or two of May but they could show up anytime.

The most I've ever seen at one time were on a lawn/mulched area in Framingham surrounding a decorative pear tree and some low junipers (go figure), but if you want to hunt them look in particular for old or dying elm or apple trees, and places where the soil is more alkaline: lime quarries, old orchards in farms that might have been limed (but are no longer sprayed with heavy-duty insecticides), burned areas (the ashes lower the Ph), old driveways lined with oyster shells, and so on.

The primo morel spots, according to local rumor, are areas where elm trees have burned. Never found any myself, just finding old elms is rare enough.

Good luck,

L. Rap

Blog and recipes at: Eating Away

Let the lamp affix its beam.

The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

--Wallace Stevens

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Ive read somewhere that someone found some morels in massasoit state park (taunton, ma) and even one in cambridge of all places

I might go to massasoit state park within a week or two and look around for some, if I can't find any there are always chicken of the woods and other edibles

BEARS, BEETS, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA
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Ive read somewhere that someone found some morels in massasoit state park (taunton, ma) and even one in cambridge of all places

I might go to massasoit state park within a week or two and look around for some, if I can't find any there are always chicken of the woods and other edibles

It's always fun looking. I've found morels in deep pine forests sometimes. There are a few state parks with old lime quarries (usally says so in the name), I'd try them first if they were nearby.

I like the mouse ear thing, sounds accurate too. No oak leaves as yet in my area.

Chicken mushrooms (laetiporus sulfureus) usually come out maybe July/August, Hen of the Woods (grifola frondosa) not till late Sept/Oct. I've often heard people refer to chicken of the woods but I never know which of those they mean (the ones on trees are the chicken mushrooms, the ones at the base in the ground are hen of the woods and of course they are nothing like each other.

Dim possibility of finding oyster mushrooms on dead logs; they will come out anytime they feel like it. Please do post if you find something!

--L. Rap

Blog and recipes at: Eating Away

Let the lamp affix its beam.

The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

--Wallace Stevens

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  • 2 weeks later...

Morels are up in northern Illinois - at least they were the weekend before last. Unfortunately my dear husband managed to poisen ivy (poisen oak?) his face in the putrsuit of said morels and now looks like a Death Eater, but at least we had a great dinner! I think it's an early year - we've had enough warm days here, as well as plenty of moisture.

Edited by SMW (log)
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Saw my first photo of New England morels (Newport, RI) dated May first, courtesy of the Boston Mycological Club's listserv on Yahoo (this is a very worthy organization which sponsors numerous well-led walks and other fungus-related activities). And I have a report of some in Framingham area as well. So the time is definitely now (and the oak leaves are just starting to come out)!

The RI morels (black morels according to the source though they looked yellow; I'll have to look them up again) were growing on disturbed soil covered with compost. That might be one of the commoner themes around here as the site in Framingham is the same way.

I think maybe it's imported topsoil, not as acid as typical NE soil, and kept nicely moist by the cedar mulch, which also maybe helps in some mysterious way.

This year, I am going to do the classic midwestern thing & dip them in egg batter, then cracker crumbs, then fry and eat just like that. Dry the rest of course.

--L. Rap

Blog and recipes at: Eating Away

Let the lamp affix its beam.

The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

--Wallace Stevens

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What a cool article, thanks! If anyone's interested, I highly recommend David Arora's book, even though it's mostly about w. coast fungi.

We don't get as much burned forest here but I do have a patch or two to look at.

--L. Rap

Blog and recipes at: Eating Away

Let the lamp affix its beam.

The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

--Wallace Stevens

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Morels have recently shown up in upstate NY. (I know I'm not technically New England, but, please... I could through a rock and hit Vermont.) My neighbors found a "secret hunting ground", and offered to trade their excess for some of our asparagus. Unfortunately, the asparagus isn't old enough to harvest yet. :sad:

I know where there's an overgrown apple orchard. I think I'll drag the kids out tomorrow.

Julie Layne

"...a good little eater."

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I went out and harvested what morels there were from the lawn of a very nice lady who has them growing out of mulch around a flowering ornamental tree of some type, and amongst low juniper bushes. Very nice black morels, but only 24 or so - less than half what I found there last year. So perhaps not a great season for morels, though these intense rains bode well for lots of other species (not including humans).

I found some snow pea shoots at Idyllwild Market in Acton (where they were selling fresh gray morels at $50 a pound, btw!), and brainstormed a dish of baby new potatoes, sliced into fingers and cooked in chicken broth, braised in a sauce of reduced heavy cream with the morels, a diced shallot, and tangles of the pea vine. Broiled farm-raised arctic char, and a nice and inexpensive chenin blanc (Stellenbosch), most spring-like and sustaining! Probably put the recipe on my site at some point.

There's a few left (I gave away some) and I'm going to quarter them, egg batter them, roll then in cracker crumbs or panko or something, and fry then in shallow butter as an appetizer tonight, the way so many lucky mid-westerners say that the good Lord intended.

Enjoy yourself,

L. Rap

Blog and recipes at: Eating Away

Let the lamp affix its beam.

The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

--Wallace Stevens

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I hope it's totally out of season.  The only local supermarket that stocks them loose in the produce section had them at $49.99/lb last week... if that's the in-season price... hoo...

It's a good thing I'm not a fanatic.

--Blair

Blair, I just noticed that Morel Mania has them dried at $10 an ounce mail order; that would rehydrate to half a pound. They seem nice, you might give it a shot.

--L. Rap

Edited by elrap (log)

Blog and recipes at: Eating Away

Let the lamp affix its beam.

The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.

--Wallace Stevens

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Well, the rain wasn't all bad ... I woke up this a.m., looked out my kitchen window and spotted a yellow morel growing next to our compost bin. (We're about 30 miles northwest of Boston.) I've been looking for morels around Boston for 3 years, so it's kind of humorous to finally find one growing right under my nose. :raz:

As soon as I figure out how to use Image Gullet, I'll post a pic.

Diana Burrell, freelance writer/author

The Renegade Writer's Query Letters That Rock (Marion Street Press, Nov. 2006)

DianaCooks.com

My eGullet blog

The Renegade Writer Blog

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Just came back from a brief morel-hunting foray. Have about 2 cups worth of morels. I think I'll do some chicken breasts with a creamy morel/white wine sauce. The other day I made risotto with morels and fiddleheads. Totally killer.

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