Twice this week my neighbors have brought over morels for our dinner. Well, not really our dinner, as I am the only one who eats them. (No. I am not going to divulge which neighbor.) I just cooked and enjoyed a morel and brie omelet. Yum!
Each year, we find one or two of these oddly shaped mushrooms, and they find a few hand fulls. Each year, I think about photographing the mushrooms before I cook them. Tuesday I thought about it. Tonight I thought about it only after they were consumed. I have yet to take photos.
My neighbors do not eat morels, although one did as a child. The morels would be dipped in egg wash, then in bread crumbs, then fried in butter. My preferred way of eating them is to saute them briefly in butter, then incorporate them into an omelet, as per this evening. This is, I know, blasphemy to many.
When I lived in the forested parts of the Midwest, spring would bring out the morel hunters in great numbers, each toting a picnic basket, or other flat bottomed conveyance to hold their luscious treasures. My friends in Michigan apparently filled burlap bags, although I can’t imagine what that did to the morsels on the bottom. Everyone had favorite places to hunt, and no one told the location of their favorite sots. At best, one might be told a general geographic neighborhood, usually comprising several square miles of rugged hillside.
Morels often appear during the “mouse ear” stage of maple leaf-out. (They also seem to have an affinity with old apple trees, which we have and our neighbors do not…. ) This year, they have come after the trees are in full leaf. All vegetation has been quite late, due I am sure to the deep snow cover and long lasting cold. Our spring has also brought record breaking rains, and large heating bills. Still, they have come. (I was wondering whether they would. ) I am glad!
This week, the lilacs have also come into bloom, although the ones in our yard have not. Last Sunday was “Lilac Sunday” at the Shelburne Museum, but it rained buckets, and the lilacs appeared not quite in bloom, so we stayed home. Tuesday I photographed a spindly, wild, lilac down in the Intervale wildlife area. It provided a splash of color in an otherwise flooded, and rather drab, landscape. Soon the air will be heavily scented lilac, and my already healthy allergies will, no doubt, take over my life completely. So be it! It’s finally Spring!