Archive for May, 2014

Mushroom Hunting

Posted: May 16, 2020 in Uncategorized

I’ve been wanting to go hunting for morels for years, but I never had anyone to take me.

Image via Wikipedia

Image via Wikipedia

I mentioned this to a friend a while back, and she said her mother goes every spring. I got her number, and after a little back-and-forth on scheduling, we’d booked a trip to the woods.

First off, I was expecting to have to go mushroom hunting way out in the middle of nowhere on some farm in eastern Oklahoma. That wasn’t the case at all. In fact, the place we went was about a 10-minute drive from my house. We never even left the city. That’s one of the (few) advantages to OKC’s massive urban sprawl. You’ve still got a number of undeveloped wooded lots scattered around the city.

I was warned in advance to do three things:

1. Wear bug spray. Ticks are rampant in the woods, and you don’t want catch lyme disease. I saw that episode of House. No thanks.
2. Bring a cloth bag to carry your morels in, not paper or plastic. Turns out there are a crazy number of brambles and thorns where morels grow, and only a cloth bag will survive the encounter. It is because of these brambles that…
3. Bring pruning shears. It isn’t just the bag that will get caught in the thorns. You will have to cut yourself loose or risk some fairly painful cuts. Even with the pruning shears, you’re going to get some scratches.

I arrived early in the morning to find my guides already in the woods. In fact, my main guide had already located a couple of morels.

Morels are pretty hard to spot in the wild. They blend in quite well, and I didn’t notice any discernible pattern to where they were located. Nevertheless, I soon picked up the knack of spotting the little buggers.

Here are a few of the ones I found.

It was fairly dry, not ideal conditions for mushrooms. Nevertheless, we were able to find a few. My guides were quite generous, giving me the ones they found as well. In the end, I had enough to make a family meal.

I prepped the morels by first splitting and washing them. I then soaked them for about a half hour in salt water. This drove out any bugs still living inside.

You can find a number of morel recipes online, but I don’t think you can beat fried mushrooms. I treated mine like a chicken-fried steak, with an egg wash and a milk wash before a roll in flour and a final egg wash.

Morels don’t taste like the mushrooms you get at your local grocery. The texture is spongier, and the flavor is much meatier. They reminded me a lot of chicken livers without the blood taste. Since I like chicken livers, that’s a good thing.

The final product was incredibly popular with the entire household. If you get the chance to go hunting for morels with someone experienced, don’t pass it up.

 

If you look on the cover of the Oklahoma Gazette this week Odd Oklahoma will be splashed across the front, but not because of this website.

The Gazette decided to feature the weird side of the state with an article that covers “Oklahoma obscura”.

The article is pretty interesting, covering a lot of the whackier stuff around the state. None of it was covered in depth, and of the things we’ve also written about, like the Spiro Mounds and the Holy City of the Wichitas, this site had the time and print space to go into a lot more detail. Nevertheless, writer Devon Green turned me onto several things I’d never even heard of, and several others I’d forgotten about or just never gotten around to. I plan to save this article and refer back to it when I’m looking for something to write about in the future.

Good stuff.

I have another piece up over at OKC.net. This one looks at HB2625 and it’s potential impact on the Oklahoma Governor’s race.

HB2625 is the bill that would address the controversial law that requires third graders to pass a high stakes reading test to advance to the next grade.

I have a piece up for OKC.net looking at the strengths and weaknesses of contacting your representatives through social media.

In it, I have a couple of links to some useful tools. I’ve created a spreadsheet of Oklahoma politicians on Twitter and I created an easily subscribable list so that people can with one click see a Twitter feed of what Oklahoma’s politicians are talking about.

In the piece, I also mention that I’m working on a similar set of resources listing candidates on the Oklahoma City ballots this year. That list and feed are currently being developed, and should be published either late this week or early next week.