Thursday, April 8, 2010

Morels are up!

It is always one of the happiest days of the year for me, when I go to the woods looking for the first morels and come home with the news, "They're here!". It is not truly spring until this day arrives.
So this year it is April 9. I checked my favorite spot just last evening and found nothing. But returning at 2 p.m., there stood two of the still-tiny beauties. They are small, probably just "sprouted" and I certainly didn't pick them. I'll give them a day or two to work their fungal magic.

This is the Yellow Morel - Morchella esculenta - and the prize of anyone's hunt. There is no taste so succulent and so earthy as this mushroom (I have never had a truffle so perhaps I am no judge). But I know what I like and a morel fried in olive oil, else chopped and placed within the folds of an omelet, can't be beat.
This shot (above) is cropped from the one below. I wanted you to see the clearer detail.

Finally, a second morel comes to life through the leaf litter and gets its first look at daylight.

It was a "warm" night (though cooling rapidly with the passage of a cold front) and a full inch of rain fell. There were two rounds of heavy rain: the first washed across the shingles at midnight, the second a mere hour later and this with lightning and thunder. I lay awake and listened to the rain pour over the rain gutters.
It's a cool Miami Valley day (49 at 3 p.m.) but apparently the morels find it to their liking.
And what the morels like, I like, too.