Thursday, May 01, 2008
Stalking the Wild Mushroom
When I married into my husband's family, there were a lot of things different and new, even though we had much in common. One of those things was that they played football on Thanksgiving Day. Another thing was that they played euchre in a family tournament on New Year's Eve (including all the kids.) They got together on Memorial Day for a big family barbeque at Aunt Carolyn's and Uncle Ronny's house. AND in the spring they had a big mushroom hunt in the woods surrounding Aunt Marilyn's house. In fact there were times that so many gray and yellow/cream morels would be found, that her back deck would be covered!
So much has happened in our family since those fun, happy days, but we still have many in the family who go out looking for mushrooms this time of year. Everyone has their secret places (this is part of shrooming) and they all have their secret techniques and special walking sticks (the better to move leaves, plants to see if there is a mushroom hiding!)
There are some master shroomers in this family. This year the first report of successful mushroom hunting hit the Family Talk email loop--and it's a whopping 500 found! What's so funny is the subject line was "We hit the Mother Lode." At first I was thinking someone got some major money or something. But I should've known. There have been more and less than that found over the years in one day, but everyone is whooping it up. The hunt is ON. That is another thing when you go mushroom hunting--you give out a shout when you find one (more like a whoop, to your companions) and start looking for his "brothers" (fellow mushrooms.)
So, it's mushroom season in Indiana. Officially. If you'd like to see the varieties that my husband's family searches for, check here. I'm going to have to dig out some past hunts' photos.
And you really need to be an expert at spotting mushrooms. Not all mushrooms are safe to eat. But boy, howdy, the ones that are safe, yummm. Like Hoosier Manna.
Fire up the frying pans....