Early on a Saturday morning at a super secret location in the upper midwest, a crew of rubber-booted family members, led by an experienced guide, set on on a mission to find the elusive morel mushroom.
The guide, who happens to be my camera-shy brother, can no longer eat this particular fungus because of a reaction that sent him to the emergency room last week.
He pointed the morels out to us new mushroom hunters when he found a morel. He’s good at spotting them but he doesn’t even touch them now; he doesn’t like emergency rooms or shots.
It took a while for us to learn how to spot them. Those morels are hard to find. They camouflage themselves amongst the leaves and pinecones. Some grow under fallen wood.
I was nervous about snakes, but I kept looking down for the mushrooms. It’s good to face your fears, right?
The littlest mushroom hunter was one of the best at spotting the morels. She told me that her hands smelled like mushrooms at the end of the outing. And they did. I smelled them.
After an hour or two of traipsing around in the cold and drizzly morning, our pails were not full, but they were no longer empty either.
My sister and I soaked the mushrooms in a sink to remove anything yucky. There wasn’t much. I was relieved about that.
We’ve got plans to find more next weekend.