Tuesday, June 3, 2008

What's The Deal?

Most of you know that I was born and raised in California. Now, California definitely has some 'quirks' (OK....perhaps that's a little understated), but after living in Iowa for 12 years I just have to say....the Midwest? Yea. It has some 'quirks', too.

There is an odd phenomenon that occurs this time of year that I can't seem to grasp. It's an event called 'Mushroom Hunting'. Yes. I said Mushroom. Hunting. If you are from the West Coast, I know you have a puzzled look on your face right now. Cause I'm from the West Coast and I still have a puzzled look on my face. In California we are taught to NEVER eat wild mushrooms because they can cause you to, um, die!

I have questioned these 'hunters' about this seemingly odd behavior and I'm not even sure they know why they hunt mushrooms. The only answer I seem to get is "Mushrooms are awesome!" and "Oh, they are sooooo good!" OK, but can't you buy them? It's not like store-bought mushrooms are sold at Lobster prices. It's FUNGUS for Pete's sake! Or Fungi....whichever the case may be. Alright, truth be told....I can't stand mushrooms. Not store bought and especially not captured-in-the-wild-mushrooms.

Still. Every store you go into you can hear wild stories being told of mushroom hunting days gone by. At first, I thought it was a joke. You know. Like 'Snipe Hunting'. A little joke the hicks, er, I mean, country folks like to play on us city folk. Yea. No. They are serious. I mean really serious about their mushroom hunting. Frankly, it's disturbing.

Please, please, please tell me......

Have you ever been mushroom hunting? Ever heard of it? Know someone who does it? I am dying to hear your thoughts on this!

(PS....I can use the word 'hick' because after 12 years....I'm officially 'hicky'/'hickish'. Not sure those are words but I am one. Officially. Just ask my kids. However, if you are not from the Midwest you are NOT allowed to call us 'hicks'. Just wanted to clear that up:)

28 comments:

Lori... said...

We used to go hunting. We were just talking about it last week. DCW said, you know what we'd be doing in Iowa right now, don't you? Yep. Mushroom hunting. Just like canned tomatoes are NOT like the real McCoy, neither are the 'shrooms. Fungus yes. But organic 'shrooms. They are different.

But it's not state-wide. Growing up in DSM - never heard of it. Of course I was a kid, but I would I'd have heard something.

Mmmm.... 'shrooms!

DCW said...

The "wild" 'shrooms are completely different than what you CAN get in the store. The "hunter's" mushrooms are morels. I asked the same question "Why can't you just grow 'em yourself?". I figured, since people liked them so much, and were paying people $15+/pound for them, I'd just start growing them year round. I understand that they have yet to be cultivated artificially. These are one of God's wild miracles that man has yet to "tame".

Robin said...

Well, I don't like mushrooms either and doubt I would ever go on a hunt for something I don't like...

Now if you wanting to go strawberry "hunting" haha or any other fun fruit I'm there.

I'm from the midwest myself and have heard of people being tricked into "snipe hunting."

Back to mushrooms, I used to pick them off or out of everything, but now if they are teeny, tiny, I will just swallow. If they are the size of my hand - no way...

Tanya said...

I am so with ya sister. When I was growing up in Washington State my mother told me not to even touch the mushrooms. We would buy them in the store. I remember Jeff talking about mushroom hunting, I laughed at him. I have never been hunting for mushrooms. I went hunting for rabbits one time or deer. What does one take with them for killing the mushroom? We took a rifle with a scoop. I am just kidding. I am not that stupid of a city folk. Tanya

girlymama said...

never heard of it.
a bit scared of it, actually.

those crazy midwesterners!! we love 'em anyways!

Susan said...

I had never heard of it until we moved here. I love mushrooms and would like to try these wild ones just once.

Carol - CDCversion said...

I'm from Michigan, grew up here, but NEVER went mushrooming. I know it's a big deal for lots of people, but they are just weird as far as I am concerned (the mushrooms, not the people!). I wouldn't eat mushrooms at all, except my husband likes them on pizza. I pick them off as much as possible.

California to Iowa...must have been quite a period of transition for you!

Heather said...

Lori- Um. Yea. Knowing the 'area' you grew up in DSM...they probably didn't mushroom hunt:)

DCW- I don't know why on EARTH I never thought to ask YOU! Of course you would know. I just had a real DUH moment! Thanks for the scoop!

Robin- Totally with you on strawberry hunting! MMM..yummy:) Yea. If the mushroom is the size of my hand...it creeps me out. The bigger they are..the creepier they are!

Tanya- KILLED ME! Still laughing @ 'What does one take with them to kill mushrooms'. Hysterical sister!

Girlymama- Yea. You have every right to be scared of it. Thanks for lovin' us Midwesterners. We love YOU!

Susan- What is wrong with you and Lori? I really can't believe we're friends. I suppose you two LOVE liver, too? EEK!

Heather said...

Carol- They ARE weird as far as I'm concerned. I'm talking about the mushrooms AND the people who stalk them! ;)

Yes..California to Iowa took a little adjustin' to! The biggest one being the fact that the entire town was shut down by 9pm. Although, that has changed over the years. Now McDonalds, Burger King, Subway, and the grocery store stay open until midnight. WOOO-HOOOO! :)

Robin said...

Liver - oh the horrors!

My mother used to make us eat it ONCE a WEEK when we were kids. Lots of tears and hours of sitting at the table. My Pastor's wife told me to cut it up as small as I could and swallow it whole - I started doing that and it helped a little... Probably wasn't good for the digestion though...

Heather said...

Robin- EEEWWW..I'm with ya sister! My mom used to fix liver and onions. Yea. Like onions could disguise the taste! Plus...when I was a kid...I hated onions as much as liver. It really was a double whammy for me. My uncle taught me to hold my nose when I ate things I didn't like. Helped some, but there is a texture to liver, too and no amount of nose holding could keep the texture away!!!!!

Indian Lake Papa said...

Heather - first of all this is a very true story! Last Monday I stopped at a road side stand to pick up a freezer bag of 1 pound of freshly picked Morel Mushrooms! The little town of Mesick, Michigan (where I got the mushrooms) has a mushroom festival every spring. People flock to the woods to pick these Morel Mushrooms. I have picked them in the woods myself. By the way i got a real deal on them - only 40 dollars a pound - the stand down the road was selling them for 50 dollars a pound - seriously!

Indian Lake Papa said...

Heather - check out the below web site!

www.mesick-mushroomfest.org

See ya next year??

papa loves morels! Great on steak!

Heather said...

OK Papa- $40 A POUND? Oh my goodness!!!! That IS more expensive than lobster! It makes me wonder...am I missing something? Um. NO!

I'll be checking out that website. Really? An entire festival centered around mushrooms? Good grief!

Indian Lake Papa said...

I am not pulling your leg! You might ask Kelly (see my blog roll) she will verify! My log home - post? pictures are only a few miles from Mesick! See ya next year I hope! :o) We can go look for fungi together - mama too!

Heather said...

Papa- I may go hunting for them, but I have a feeling that my mushroom hunting will be much like my fishing. You know. I'll look for them, but you are going to have to 'touch' them. I love to fish, but I don't bait my hook or touch the fish. Princess. I know.

I think Mama and I should just hang out, in the log cabin, in the air conditioning:)

Heather said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Indian Lake Papa said...

Ha! Mama would like that just sit there and read the latest Karen Kingsbury novel! She LOVES to read - no fishin, no pick'in fungi! Just read, pray and talk to Jesus!

Indian Lake Papa said...

I just noticed that mama has a talent that you and Robin apparently don't - she can cook liver burgers! She can grind up beef or pork liver and make the best burger patties out of liver. put those patties between a great bun, cheese slice, onion and the works - melt in your mouth - I guess we could put some Morel's on it too!

Heather said...

OH MY LAND! I think I just gagged. Literally. No offense to Mama, but the thought of 'liver burgers' AND mushrooms......

I need to go get something to drink. I'm salivating. And NOT in a GOOD way!

Indian Lake Papa said...

Hey! God created all these wonders! Oh how sad - you don't know what your missing! Ha! Have the greatest of days!!

Heather said...

You truly are a 'Papa' because my grandma used to tell me the same thing about gizzards:)

Have a blessed day, Papa and Mama!

Lori... said...

I didn't like liver until I had a liver burger. I'm serious - it tastes like a venison burger. With home grown tomatoes, onions, and pickles....my mouth is watering! And don't forget the garlic!

And what was that all about Sister..."the 'area' you grew up in" comment offended me (I think). When I was younger, and I did in fact, once upon a time, use to be younger - our neighborhood was all woods. And daddy loved mushrooms, especially on a big juicy T-Bone. I think I need to go eat lunch!

Heather said...

Lori- No offense intended, Sister. Only going off of what YOU told me:) Um. Definitely think you better get some lunch. Not liver. Not mushrooms.

darla said...

we were upstate NY where some friends live and we used to visit yearly, and over laborday weekend they mushroom hunted in the woods along lake ontario...never heard of that either, and they were huge, and white,, and the threw them things on the grill in chunks and literally devoured them! I was watching and thinking no way..my mama said that stuff will kill ya, and when I wake up you all are going to be dead...well they all lived, I just never heard of that..and i still don't think I want any! :)

Lori... said...

Had lunch - still sounds good! I never thought I would say that about liver, but it's true. I still won't eat it plain. It has to be really doctored!

Heather said...

I'm with you Darla!

Daizy said...

Hi,I posted to your blog about the storm first. I know Papa.

Okay, Morel mushrooms are different than your button mushrooms you find in the store. The flavor will make your tastebuds stand at attention with delight. (Way different than those bland buttons). The texture on the tongue is part of the experience.

After cutting them in half lengthwise, roll them in flour and saute them in butter. The aroma of them cooking is what gets the whole mushroom-eating adventure on it's way.

I know this is a long post, but this tasty delicacy deserves it.

And liver burgers, never tried them, but I like liver. They might be okay.