Yes, I do have morels … morel mushrooms, that is. I received a tweet from Jill at The Hills Market this morning that they had received 3 lbs and would be putting some aside for me. So I drove down – again – to pick up my cherished morels. (see background story).
I knew they would probably be expensive, but I was prepared to pay whatever. While I don’t have an official bucket list, if I did, having a meal once again of these special mushrooms would be on the list. The price? $45 per pound, but they were packaged in quarter pound containers.
Since morels aren’t available here until early May, I asked where these pieces of gold came from. The Hills staff thought this batch came from either Washington or California. And, yes, they are hand gathered … hence the price. This form of mushroom can’t be cultivated.
When I was growing up, we referred to them as sponge mushrooms, because that’s what they look like. The ones we picked (in Knox County) were cream colored … not the darker variety that I bought today. They were also larger, usually 3-4″ tall. Most of those in the colander to the right are 1-2″ tall.
I fixed half of them tonight just as my Mom used to. I gave them a light coating of flour, then lightly sauteed them in butter, with a dash of salt. They are very rich tasting, similar but different from a portabella. They tasted wonderful!
I want to thank Jill at The Hills Market for her excellent customer service in advising me through Twitter. That type of personal service seldom happens with the big chain stores. It’s also a reminder as to why we should support our local, small business owners as they provide more jobs nationally than the “big guys” and are an important factor to our economy.
The next time you want an special cut of prime meat or fresh-daily seafood or an extensive selection of wine, be sure to shop at The Hills Market, located on Rt 315 just north of I-270 at the bottom of the Worthington Hills subdivision.