Foraging begins—Mushrooms still sleepy—A happy consolation

People go crazy over these, but they taste pretty much like garlicky green onions you've had before but with a tender leaf. The reason we go crazy is because wild things are always better. It's not rational, but there you have it.

Week #2 of the 2011 morel hunt: no morels. Last weekend it seemed like it was still pretty much winter out there. But today we walked among shoots and sensed we were just a few days too early. The obsession is growing. But stay out long enough, and Mother Nature will always provide something. Sometimes it’s something unpleasant, like ticks. (Who knows, I may have those, too.) Today it was a lovely consolation prize: ramps.

I’d never even heard of them until last year, and didn’t get to try them until the end of spring. They are $3 a tiny bunch at the Dane County Farmer’s Market: rich people’s food. I bought them anyway this year, and ate them with sunchokes and eggs from Clucky, Flappy and the gang. But hoarded them carefully, used them in bits.

Buying them once allowed me to get to know them well enough to spot them in the forest—and now I have a couple of pounds to play with.

Pizza? Dumplings? Soup? The Pope’s Risotto?

Please hold while we are frozen with indecision.

UPDATE: Ticks—check.


6 responses to “Foraging begins—Mushrooms still sleepy—A happy consolation

  1. May is also a great time to go foraging for burdock root. It’s all over the place in Madison (and most everywhere else in the Midwest) and “kinpira gobo” makes for a delicious meal. I hear the peeled stalks, cut before flowering (so like right now in late June this year) make for a great, artichoke like flavored edible too.

    Recently seen the oyster mushrooms creeping out of a dead, standing oak too … hopefully an abundance of oysters will help make up for the weak morel season.

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