TERRE HAUTE —
“April 5, 2010 asparagus was up with the grey mushrooms. April 26, 2010 found 15 nice morels with them being the last for the year.
“2011 was a gradual warming trend. April 10 was when we stared finding them and May 6th was when the last ones were found.
“In April of 2011 was a kick ass year, April 16=5lbs of yellows. April 17th=8lbs of yellow and blacks. April 19th the Yellow and Peckerheads came up together.
“2012 season ended in mid-April from temps dropping to near frost. Got warm to 80 degrees on March 18th and stayed for a week, getting to warm to quick. The top 3 or 4 inches of soil needs to warm gradually.”
Here are Richard’s top secret for preparing them to eat. Soak them in salt water for a couple of hours after cutting them equally in two, except the ones that are 3/4 inch or less. Big ones cut up into four pieces. After cleaning, put them in a Tupperware bowl or Ziploc bag, still damp. They will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. With a laugh, he said they don’t last long enough to freeze any of them.
To cook, put 3/4 butter and 1/4 cooking oil melted in a skillet, coat them with flour to cook in the butter and oil. Salt and pepper to your liking and he likes them like an egg over easy, not to cook the flavor out of them. Once they hit the plate, the one that eats the fastest gets the most.
A young lady asked him where he finds all of those mushrooms and as a general location in a joking manner he always tells folks he finds them three miles east of Youngstown. The lady’s eyes got big as saucers and she said “That’s where I live” and became instantly irritated. Richard said “Yeah, didn’t you see me walking across your back yard?”
After his laughter for several minutes, she finally got the joke.
Richard says everybody brags on the big ones they find, so he goes for the small ones.
Yes, I saw it with my own eyes. He has one you use a magnifying glass to see! It’s no bigger than the lead in a pencil. It should be in Guinness World Book of Records. You have to use tweezers to hold it. The one in the picture is large compared to it.
Don’t anyone go mushroom hunting three miles east of Youngstown, that’s Richard’s secret spot!
Kenny Bayless can be reached by email at email@example.com.