Magic Mushrooms

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Liz posted a picture of some morel mushrooms on Facebook, indicating that she had picked them while at her weekend home in Warkworth, ON. I commented on the photo, pointing out that I was her friend and that I liked her very, very much, not actually expecting morels to be forthcoming – I’m not sure I’d share if I had my own personal stash, after all.

Liz is a very sweet lady, though, and early last week, after another trip to the country, she emailed me, offering me what was probably the last of her morel harvest. “It’s not much,” she said. “Only about 3 handfuls.”

You know the old saying about never looking a gift horse in the mouth, and so off I went in joyous anticipation to meet a lady about some mushrooms. In trade, I took some bottles of gluten-free beer for Liz’s husband, because when someone brings you the last of their morels, you should reciprocate in some way. And since Liz’s husband can’t drink regular beer, I’m hoping that the exchange was as appreciated on their end as it was on mine.

Liz had the ‘shrooms wrapped up in cheesecloth, so it wasn’t until I got them home that I really got to admire them. So beautiful, these magical things, like little balls of brown lace. And so many! I’d have been overjoyed with half this amount; Liz had been especially generous.

I decided to saute them with fiddleheads and garlic and then serve them with gnocchi in brown butter.

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