I have been married for almost four years, and we dated two years prior to our wedding. Every spring, for the entire course of this relationship I have heard the legend of the morel mushroom. Every spring rain left a glint in his eye, and after the rain stopped we laced up our boots and tromped around acres of the untamed wilds. We walked southern Iowa. We walked mid-Missouri. We walked northeast Oklahoma. We walked damp river beds and the banks of flushed streams, we walked around dead elms and cedars, we walked up hills and in wide circles through prairies. We walked, man. And every year we came home with empty paper bags, wet socks and muddy boots. With doleful eyes this year, my husband proclaimed softly, “I promise that they are real.”
I came home tonight to a husband holding a paper bag. And there, rolling on the bottom, were seven grey-white and craggy morel mushrooms.
Can you show me how to fry these?
Fried Morel Mushrooms
As many morel mushrooms as you can gather, sliced in half
one to two cups cornmeal
neutral flavored oil
1. Clean your mushrooms. Salt water until it tastes like weak ocean water. Dump in your mushrooms and swirl. You want to get rid of all of the dirt and bugs. When you are confident that the mushrooms are clean, dry on paper towels.
2. Start with one cup of cornmeal – dump this onto a plate. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
3. Pour the milk into a bowl.
4. Pour the oil into a pan. You are going to want a half inch or so in the pan. Heat the oil to medium high heat.
5. Dip the mushrooms into the milk, then the cornmeal, then into the oil.
6. Fry until crispy and lightly brown.
7. Eat. Believe in the legend.