I remember when I was 4... my dad took me...Yes...by my self...and the reason why I remember it so well is because it was the first time he called me "chubs" (that I remembered anyway). That's the nickname he called me. I am not sure why he called me chubs because I wasn't chubby at that age...I was only chubby until I was 2, but it didn't really matter to me what he called me....I was going mushroom hunting....that was the important part. He could of called me Fat son # 2 at that point. I was just excited to go shrooming with my Dad. We had packed a sack lunch and off we went....I was in the front seat of the 59 Chevy pickup with my Dad....how cool was I? I love memory's like this one because it is so vivid in my memory that I can even feel what the texture of the seats were like in the truck. I can remember alot about that day...but the only thing I cannot remember is...how many shrooms we found. I guess that tells me that it wasn't that important enough to remember. The important thing was that we were doing it together, just like we always did with the family. Shrooming was and still is a very important part of the Ranshaw tradition. If you lived in the Ranshaw household, shrooming was in your blood. Its something that pulls at you when spring arrives. It forces you to remember the smells of woods, the dampness of soil, the umbrella plants that are always out and that one time that you found the motherload.
(I just got a call from my brother while I was writing this blog...he wanted to know if I wanted to go shroom hunting....and of course I said I was in.)
My Brother Scott and my Dad are like shroom fanatics. They will take work off to go hunting if they know think its a good time for them. There is bragging rights at stake here...like who will find the first shroom or who will find the most shrooms for the year. Let alone just having them around to cook and eat...that's the real trophy. They never did last long in our house either. They were usually gone the same day or the next. If you have never tried a morel mushroom...you are missing out on a real treat. They have great flavor whether you fry them up in flour and butter, or you cut them up and mix them in your scrambled eggs in the morning....they are terrific either way. There are different colored mushrooms depending on what time of the season it is...blacks come out first and those are the ones that I think taste the best but are also the hardest to find because they blend in with the ground so well. But there are also the grays, whites and yellows. Yellows grow the biggest and the easiest to find.
So I am hoping to have a good shroom season this year, and take all the knowledge that I have learned from my family and try and find the motherload of morels. If I could just get the location from my Dad of that one spot that he always finds them....but that's like trying to get secrets from the KGB Russian Spies. It don't think he will ever part with that information.
(UPDATE...we did not find any today...but it is only March 19th...if the weather stays like it has been...they will be popping up next week) Happy Shrooming !!