Wednesday, May 4, 2011

April Showers!!!

Really, here in western PA we average about 2.5" of rain for the month of April. This April our total rainfall was just over 5". Needless to say, we should have amazing May flowers as the adage goes.
The excessive rain has brought about a very abundant growth of Morel mushrooms. These woodland delicacies can be found throughout western Pennsylvania in mid Spring if the growing conditions are favorable. 
Smaller variety found in the "North Woods"

My father was an avid "shroomer". He taught me when and where to find Morels. There was only one ideal location that he knew of. From Spring to Spring we would check for them. This year with the extreme rain, Molly and I have found them in the most unlikely places. (A good "shroomer" never reveals her sources!!!) We have spent several rainy afternoons in the woods. The thrill of finding your first one is great. They are camoflauged well. Once you spot the first one, it becomes easier to find more. We only pick about one of every three we find. You want to leave some there to reproduce. It sure is hard to walk away from them. We left this big one in the picture. Think of the babies it will produce!!! My favorite way to eat a Morel is sauteed in just a bit of butter. There are great recipes out there for fancy stuff but I just like them simple and savory.
That is a dime on the ground beside this giant Morel.

Spring delights!!!

A quick and easy spring dish is asparagus sauteed with Morels served over angel hair or in a risotto. Be sure to grate some fresh Parmesan over top.
Eat lots of this fresh and often because the season is so short.
Be sure to get out and enjoy the new season and the fun things that come with it.