If any of you grew up in the north central areas of the US, you're likely to know about the infamous mushroom called the Morel. Usually found in wooded areas and typically plentiful, Morel mushrooms are unique in their flavor and texture. I personally haven't had one since I left the area 30 plus years ago. I've been begging my cousins to bundle up a bunch and send them to me... to no avail. They're free if you hunt for them, and cheap if you buy them up there. But down here in Florida, it's quite a different story.
Whole Foods yesterday... searching for organic greens that I was not able to find in the Winter Park Farmers Market... (booo hisss) We both were standing side by side as our eyes met Morel mushrooms at the same time. Pure GASPS came out of both of our mouths while our baskets got dropped from our arms so we could reach for the precious delicacy. We were squealing with delight until our eyes dropped to the price tag. $49.99 per pound.
After we were able to pick our jaws up off the ground and gather our wits after flying into sticker shock, we began to get creative. Bottom line... we just wanted to savor the flavor of these little jewels, so we picked out a handful, weighed them and convinced ourselves that we didn't need a pound... just a mouthful to put ourselves back into our childhood.
$3.50 later we took our find home, cranked up the stove, plopped in the butter and washed them with tender loving care as if they were going to make us young again. At one point, they slipped from the bag of water and both of us rushed in screaming to make sure no mushroom escaped down the drain. I do believe we would have removed the drain below if any had slipped through.
All washing complete... a bit of slicing to help make them seem like we had more than we did and into the hot butter they went. I stood over the stove, smelling the butter, watching the little gems sizzle to a light brown.
Oh so delicately I took them from the butter to a paper towel, making sure they all stayed in tact. A prayer of thanks went up, we turned to look at one another, then lifted our forks with a sliver of mushroom on the tips, putting them into our mouths anxiously awaiting that flavor that we remember oh so long ago.... and you won't believe what happened next...
To be concluded tomorrow! :-)