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Author Topic: Morels  (Read 30615 times)

Offline NOCK NOCK

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Re: Morels
« Reply #105 on: April 13, 2022, 06:37:51 PM »
They're coming up at 1500' just across the river. The thimble caps are pretty much done but there are blonds in the cottonwoods.
How many years have you been picking and where did you learn so much? It seems you are one of  the forum experts thought, I was ahead of the curve and have been out looking but nothing so far  :dunno:
I started foraging around 1990. I learned how to pick matsutake and morels from a friend in the food business while I was selling for Food Services of America. In 2002, I met a Cherokee named Running Squirrel (Earl Aherns/pictured) who'd moved as an infant with his father out to Yakima from the East. When I knew him, he lived in Washougal and was a supplier for an exotic foods company I worked for that shipped wild mushrooms, truffles, weird oils and vinegars, etc., to top chefs all over the country. I went with him on foraging excursions frequently, probably at least 20 weekends a year. He wasn't big on morels but in the Spring, we would forage wild greens and flowers - stinging nettle, mustard flowers and greens, wood violets, miner's lettuce, lemon balm, wood sorrel, wild roses, devil's club shoots, fireweed, and more. Out of these things he made a salad which has been featured in the NYT and the LA Times and was a favorite of these top chefs. We'd start picking porcini in May, lobsters in July, chanterelles in August, and about 8-10 other varieties during the fall.

Earl lived a meager life in an old single-wide with a rotten floor. He ate wild food and canned beans and had about 6 cats to keep the rats down. He'd pick in the rain, heat - didn't matter. I got him a rain suit that he wore for years until it tattered. When he died from lung cancer and a host of other ailments, his POS child molester son didn't let me know even though he knew we were close. I learned a few months later from one of Earl's old girlfriends who's a good friend to this day. I learned most of what I know about foraging from Running Squirrel and am forever grateful.
Sounds like a great guy!  Cool story!  :tup:

 :yeah: very cool story! And a blessing to have known someone like that. Looking forward to getting out and foraging this spring, but looks like it'll be a little while yet. Just had more snow dumped in my good spots this week  :-\

It'll be interesting to see what this snow does to the morel season, as we really have little history to indicate it, at least on the westside. Could the extra nitrogen in snowfall help? Could the cold stop the early season altogether? How will this affect the burns?

I have four inches on the ground 10 minutes west of Yakima. My hope is that the extra moisture helps the crop. If it melts soon and we get some rain in early may could be good.


This  :yeah:

Last year one of my best spots did not produce any. It was a dry spring and the ground/dirt was dry too. I Believe this current weather will be awesome for this year.
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Offline OutHouse

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Re: Morels
« Reply #106 on: April 14, 2022, 03:31:16 PM »
They're coming up at 1500' just across the river. The thimble caps are pretty much done but there are blonds in the cottonwoods.
How many years have you been picking and where did you learn so much? It seems you are one of  the forum experts thought, I was ahead of the curve and have been out looking but nothing so far  :dunno:
I started foraging around 1990. I learned how to pick matsutake and morels from a friend in the food business while I was selling for Food Services of America. In 2002, I met a Cherokee named Running Squirrel (Earl Aherns/pictured) who'd moved as an infant with his father out to Yakima from the East. When I knew him, he lived in Washougal and was a supplier for an exotic foods company I worked for that shipped wild mushrooms, truffles, weird oils and vinegars, etc., to top chefs all over the country. I went with him on foraging excursions frequently, probably at least 20 weekends a year. He wasn't big on morels but in the Spring, we would forage wild greens and flowers - stinging nettle, mustard flowers and greens, wood violets, miner's lettuce, lemon balm, wood sorrel, wild roses, devil's club shoots, fireweed, and more. Out of these things he made a salad which has been featured in the NYT and the LA Times and was a favorite of these top chefs. We'd start picking porcini in May, lobsters in July, chanterelles in August, and about 8-10 other varieties during the fall.

Earl lived a meager life in an old single-wide with a rotten floor. He ate wild food and canned beans and had about 6 cats to keep the rats down. He'd pick in the rain, heat - didn't matter. I got him a rain suit that he wore for years until it tattered. When he died from lung cancer and a host of other ailments, his POS child molester son didn't let me know even though he knew we were close. I learned a few months later from one of Earl's old girlfriends who's a good friend to this day. I learned most of what I know about foraging from Running Squirrel and am forever grateful.
Sounds like a great guy!  Cool story!  :tup:

 :yeah: very cool story! And a blessing to have known someone like that. Looking forward to getting out and foraging this spring, but looks like it'll be a little while yet. Just had more snow dumped in my good spots this week  :-\

It'll be interesting to see what this snow does to the morel season, as we really have little history to indicate it, at least on the westside. Could the extra nitrogen in snowfall help? Could the cold stop the early season altogether? How will this affect the burns?

I have four inches on the ground 10 minutes west of Yakima. My hope is that the extra moisture helps the crop. If it melts soon and we get some rain in early may could be good.


This  :yeah:

Last year one of my best spots did not produce any. It was a dry spring and the ground/dirt was dry too. I Believe this current weather will be awesome for this year.

Same. I had a place where I picked well over five pounds in less than an hour (and left a significant amount for next years spore) but then last year there was almost nothing. Just not enough water during the spring.

Over Christmas we took some frozen ones and fried them up real crisp and then added them to sausage gravy for biscuits and gravy. It was a hit!

Offline NOCK NOCK

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Re: Morels
« Reply #107 on: April 14, 2022, 05:18:29 PM »
We Dehydrate them yearly. They reconstitute really close to fresh condition.
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Offline pianoman9701

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Re: Morels
« Reply #108 on: April 15, 2022, 07:11:32 AM »
We Dehydrate them yearly. They reconstitute really close to fresh condition.

Dehydrating concentrates the flavor. A lot of chefs prefer them to fresh because of shelf life. The one thing to be careful of is moth larvae.
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Offline NOCK NOCK

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Re: Morels
« Reply #109 on: April 15, 2022, 05:55:29 PM »
We Dehydrate them yearly. They reconstitute really close to fresh condition.

Dehydrating concentrates the flavor. A lot of chefs prefer them to fresh because of shelf life. The one thing to be careful of is moth larvae.


Is that something that happens if not stored airtight?   More protein  :chuckle:
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Offline NOCK NOCK

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Re: Morels
« Reply #110 on: April 15, 2022, 06:06:35 PM »
Dehydrated morels with elk backstrap for dinner tonight  :drool:
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Offline pianoman9701

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Re: Morels
« Reply #111 on: April 16, 2022, 09:46:57 AM »
We Dehydrate them yearly. They reconstitute really close to fresh condition.

Dehydrating concentrates the flavor. A lot of chefs prefer them to fresh because of shelf life. The one thing to be careful of is moth larvae.


Is that something that happens if not stored airtight?   More protein  :chuckle:

It's difficult to store dried morels completely airtight because it can crush them. Be careful to just suck a little air out of the bag.
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Offline Buck Rub Jr

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Re: Morels
« Reply #112 on: April 16, 2022, 10:47:40 AM »
Puyallup shrooms on the job
They is where you aint and you aint where they is.

Offline Norman89

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Re: Morels
« Reply #113 on: April 16, 2022, 01:19:28 PM »
Score didn't even have to go looking! Just spent the last 2 hours stomping around the woods with my 6 year old we didn't find a dang thing

Offline ducks4days

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Re: Morels
« Reply #114 on: April 16, 2022, 07:59:12 PM »
Elevation?

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Re: Morels
« Reply #115 on: April 23, 2022, 03:53:03 PM »
I managed to find 22 today in gmu 667.

Offline Igottanewknee

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Re: Morels
« Reply #116 on: April 28, 2022, 03:51:56 PM »
Anybody finding any on the east side yet?

Offline mcrawfordaf

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Re: Morels
« Reply #117 on: April 28, 2022, 04:18:48 PM »
Anybody finding any on the east side yet?
Not for me. But I'm not that good at finding em to be fair. Looking around 2200-3000 elevation on an old burn

Offline NOCK NOCK

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Re: Morels
« Reply #118 on: April 28, 2022, 04:49:19 PM »
still a few weeks early
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Offline OutHouse

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Re: Morels
« Reply #119 on: April 28, 2022, 05:03:56 PM »
I'm gonna check this weekend here in Central WA but I think mid May the bloom will happen. We've got excellent precipitation so hoping for a good year. If I get out I'll report elevation and results etc.

 


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