Sunday, April 19, 2015

Hunting, Preparing, and Preserving Morel Mushrooms - It's Mushroom Season Baby!

I've been hunting morels since I was a little girl with my dad, and The Man has been doing the same with his step-dad.  I learned my love of the woods from Dad, and remember following him over logs, through briars, and up and down hills from when I was an itty bitty. 

Dad doesn't particularly like to eat morels, but Mom loves them so when I was a kid we went every year.  At first he would find them and point them out to me and let me pick them.  Then he began to force me to get better at it, and he would say STOP!!  Do you see them?  Look around, and I'd look around until I saw the mushroom and then I'd bend down and pick it.

Then when The Man and I got married, we started hunting together.

People will tell you all kinds of "stuff" about finding mushrooms.

"Stuff" like....morels grow around dead trees, mostly elm.....or they like moist ground.....or they like dry ground.....or they are up when the apple trees are blooming, or when the apples trees are done or blah blah blah.

Let me fill you in on some life changing intel on hunting mushrooms...........


Ha, but seriously......they really do grow where they grow.

You may have the greatest best most productive 'shroom patch ever, and hunt there for 3 or 4 years straight and then go back one spring and not find a thing.

The bottom line when hunting mushrooms is that the weather conditions have to be right at the right time, and you have to cover some ground.  You have to walk, and walk, and walk some more!  In a good year like this one, you'll find them everywhere and won't hardly be able to walk without stepping on them.  In years like this, The Man hunts every second he can.  Rain or shine, he's out hunting mushrooms.  I'm not that hardy, and don't like to hunt in the rain!

Now as for how do you know what mushrooms you can eat and live to see another day??

I don't know about anything but Morels.  I wish I did, but I don't.

As far as I know there is no other mushroom that looks like a morel.  They are very distinctive looking.

Down here folks call them "dry land fish".  I guess maybe because they sort of look as if they have gills?  I really have no clue why.  This site will show you pictures of what they call "false morels" but to me they don't look anything like a morel.  A real morel is hollow inside and when you slice it in half, it's hollow.

I'm sure this post wasn't  helpful in the least, but if you'd like to go out hunting morels here is what we always take with us...

Our 'shroomin' sticks....The Man carved these for us out of cedar limbs....they are about 5 1/2 feet long or so.....

7 Dust.  This works better in our minds for keeping ticks off than Off ever could, and it doesn't leave a terrible taste in your mouth.

A sack.  This can be an empty bread sack, a plastic bag, a basket, bucket, anything you can tote your mushrooms in.  In the park it is the law that you have to use a mesh bag, so we use empty onion sacks.

A lunch.  Trust me, you are going to be having such a great and peaceful day enjoying the woods that you aren't going to want to have to go home and eat!

A camera.  Optional but nice to have so you can take pictures of anything interesting you may see.

Now after you've found your nice haul of mushrooms....

What do you do with them?

We cut them in half length-wise.....

And put them in a bowl, usually a butter bowl, or an ice cream bucket depending on how many we've got.......

You can see the hollowness of the mushrooms in this picture.
Then cover them with water, and sort of gently rinse them because they will be full of little bugs.....

Now add a bit of salt, and put them in the fridge over night.

Then they are ready to be rinsed and either fried up immediately......

Or if you are fortunate enough to find a big ole haul of 'shrooms, you can freeze them like this.....

First drain the water off....

Then flour your mushrooms up real good.....

And put them on a cookie sheet, close but not really touching....

Then put the cookie sheets in the freezer for a couple hours or so, until the mushrooms are frozen hard...

Then pop them off the cookie sheet and put them in bags in the freezer.  When you want to cook them, you just melt the butter in your skillet and then add the frozen 'shrooms and cook like normal!

There are a lot of ways to preserve mushrooms for later use, but this is the best way we've found.  They taste the most like fresh this way in our opinions!

This weekend The Man went 'shrooming every day, and by this evening, we had 3 ice cream buckets of sliced morel mushrooms, which translated into 9 bags of mushrooms in the freezer, plus a nice mess for supper.

 He was hunting over on our aunt and uncle's 100 acre farm, and since it was rainy and nasty, I stayed home to do things around here, so I wasn't a part of this mushroom haul.  The weather is supposed to stay good for mushrooms though, so we'll be headed out next weekend to hopefully find some more!

If you like them, I hope you are finding some in your neck of the woods!

Till next time,

God Bless,


  1. Pretty neat. I've never ate them or hunted for them. I like mushrooms

    1. Girl you need to go! They are so good, and I know ya'll would love them!

  2. Great post! I never in a million years would have known how to freeze these babies properly, so thank you! :)

    1. Thanks! This is the best way we've found to eat morels in January! :)


If you'd like to comment, I love to hear from folks and I will do my absolute very best to comment back or answer any questions!