Last week in my foraging column, I mentioned hunting mushrooms – more expressly, hunting morels in the spring. For some reason, I just couldn’t get the thought of a platter of those tasty morsels out of my mind. So, I decided to go mushroom hunting.
Like I stated in last week’s column, you have to know where to look to find all kinds of wonderful wild treats. And I know where to look for morels in the month of July – in my freezer.
There they were, still snugly nestled in their plastic freezer container, individually frozen and layered between sheets of wax paper. Hard-frozen individual morels ready for deep frying!
The trick to turning out the scrumptious woodland tidbits is in preparation. Before you remove the freezer container of morels, have your egg wash and dry dredge ready, and your peanut oil preheated to 320-340 degrees.
Working quickly so the container of mushrooms doesn’t thaw, use tongs to pick up a frozen morel and dip it into the egg wash, roll it in the dredge and drop it into the oil. I generally fry 6 or 8 morels at a time, dropping the largest of the batch into the oil first.
The morels cook quickly, needing only about 1-1/2 to 2 minutes. Drained on a paper towel, the tasty deep-fried mushrooms are slightly crunchy on the outside and moist and delicious on the inside. Maybe a purist would say they are not quite as good as fresh, but I will say they really are a close second.
You may be wondering how well they keep. These mushrooms were not from the spring 2018 season – they were from 2016.
Pioneer life at Turkey Run State Park
Come and experience life on the frontier at the Pioneer Heritage Festival on July 21 at Turkey Run State Park. A variety of hands-on activities from the early 1800s will be available, including candle-dipping, cornhusk dolls, homemade ink and crosscut sawing.
A $1 per-person donation is suggested. Activities will be held at or near the Nature Center from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
At 3 p.m., there will be an open house of the Lusk Home. Free-will donations will be accepted for future restoration projects. Visitors can hike or drive to the house.
Come and hear the “Sounds That Scared the Pioneers” at 7:30 p.m. at the amphitheater, next to the pool. Discover the strange sounds that could be heard in Indiana during the 1800s. Some of them can still be heard.
All programs are free unless otherwise indicated. Standard gate fees apply. Turkey Run State Park is located at 8121 East Park Rd. Marshall, IN 47859.
The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of Farm World. Readers with questions or comments may contact Jack Spaulding by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by writing to him in care of this publication.