(I think) I know what it's like for diehard morel mushroom hunters. Filled with extreme eagerness to pounce when the moment seems right, the hunter becomes overly aware of the time of year and the weather patterns. Have the temperatures, rain, filtered sunlight been optimal? And once it's determined that mushrooms could possibly appear, abandoned cars are seen parked along woodsy landscapes. Hunters, racing to find the mother lode during that brief window of time... I'm not trying to make anyone jealous here, but this past weekend, that mother lode was found.
I won't be bragging proudly to all of you as if this was my discovery, because I did not join in the search. I stayed behind at the cabin (just relaxing). I had nothing to do with any of it. Occasionally, during the two hour hunt by my husband and several others, I heard screams of delight in the far-off distance from my friend Debbie. If anyone was meant to find this haul, it was Debbie. Having never before searched for them herself, Debbie is often the fortunate recipient of morels from all of those who are aware of her intense love for this mushroom. By the way... eating a meal prepared by Debbie with morels is heaven.
During this search, the small group happened upon a carpet of morel mushrooms so dense, it was hard not to step on them. Our host, who has seriously hunted morels for much of his life, had never seen anything like it. This bag of morels was just one of several.
Morel mushrooms sliced in half and awaiting dehydration.
The following day, I went out to comb the forest floor myself. I found one. ONE! And that was only because Debbie called me over to the area she was searching. I stood there; my eyes slowly scanning the ground. After a short time, Debbie pointed me in which direction to face. Then she told me how far away the mushroom was. Time passed... nothing... more time passed... finally... Eureka! I found a morel. A single morel. I wonder how many I actually walked past and never noticed.
I was not, however, shy about taking several of the fresh morel mushrooms home with me. Debbie told me how she would prepare her morels that night and I did the same -- Scrambled Eggs with Morels and Chives. Since I barely had anything other than eggs in my refrigerator when we returned from the cabin, it was the perfect dish. It is amazing how a morel mushroom can elevate a simple dish of scrambled eggs into something so extraordinarily delicious. Just as a truffle does. Better than a truffle? Possibly.
I hope we're invited back to the cabin next spring... please?
• 4 large morel mushrooms
• 6 large eggs
• 2-3 tablespoons sour cream
• Salt and freshly ground pepper
• Fresh chives, minced
1. Gently brush the morels to clean, then dice. In a small skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Sauté the mushrooms over medium heat until juices are released and mushrooms are reduced.
2. In the meantime, crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk briefly to blend. Season with salt and pepper. Melt 1 to 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium-low heat. Add the eggs and gently cook, stirring almost constantly. I like using a thin metal spatula to turn the eggs over as they scramble. When almost done, add the sour cream and stir into the eggs.
3. Divide scrambled eggs between two plates. Top with the sautéed morels and sprinkle with chives; adjust seasonings.
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