Early May is one of my favorite times here in central Iowa because it's morel mushroom hunting season. They're a homegrown delight here in the Midwest, though I know they grow in other regions of the country as well. I've been eating them since I was a kid and they're just about the most divine things I've ever tasted. I must not be the only one who likes them because I often see them selling for $20 a pound at the local farmer's market. Luckily, I've never had to buy them since my husband's father and some of our friends are avid morel hunters. Here's a small batch my father-in-law gathered for us a few years ago. To give you an idea of the bumper crop that year, this is a 15-inch wide bowl.
We soak them in salt water to get rid of any bugs. Then we dip them in egg batter, coat them in crushed crackers or breadcrumbs, and saute them in butter. We had so many that year that we literally ate morels for two straight weeks. Morel hunting grounds are carefully guarded around here, so those who find good spots are careful not to reveal them. My husband and his dad will be venturing out to their favorite spot in search of morels this weekend and I do so hope they find some!