I started this post as the Meatless Monday Eighteen post, but by the end of my breathless tirade, I realized I had about 3 pages written with nary a word about Meatless Monday, So, I turned it into its own entry. I will post the Meatless Monday recipe tomorrow. I’m not going to change anything for this post, so don’t be confused. And don’t expect a recipe at the end. This is just your chance to peer into my addled brain. (And to further understand why sometimes, when telling a story, I completely forget what I was talking about.)
Morel Mushroom and Asparagus Risotto
Prep time: 8 years, 3 months, 18 days, 6 hours and 9 minutes.
That’s how long I’ve spent looking for stupid morels since moving to this God-Forsaken wind-plagued tract of land fifteen years ago. It is day three of sustained winds over 35 miles per hour. (I hate the wind.) You would think strolling through the woods on spring afternoons would be a tranquil time for regenerating the spirit. But you’d be wrong.
Nothing makes me more, angry, bitter and venomous than wasting precious time looking for mushrooms that aren’t there. Afterward, I march into the house with a furrowed brow, into a kitchen that has been destroyed in the hour since leaving, and HEADS ROLL! “What’s all this?! Who left the milk out?! Clean up your dishes!…”
Making matters worse, I have to read about the all morels that everyone ELSE are finding in my twitter and facebook streams. Or, from my own brother-in-law, who — in my estimation — must wear a miner’s hat and look for them in the dark, he has so many damned morels. Where does he find the time?
It makes me crazy. I’ve been shut out for the past two years. Haven’t found even one.
So, like I do every early May, I went looking. I looked for about an hour and a half. And I found one!
My brother-in-law has been itching to come stalk the woods around my house for years, claiming that there just MUST be bounties of unfound morels. Since he usually he has to trespass, he’s probably had as many morels confiscated as he has consumed. OK, I’m exaggerating, but you get my point. He’s a cagey bastard. I like to encourage him, though. Because he shares his bounty with me. I have a well-timed birthday and if I play my cards right, I get a bag full of dried morels around the end of May…
Anyway, the planets finally aligned and we had them over for dinner last Friday for Pad Thai and Panang Curry (*recipe sure to come soon, and also from Rouxbe.com) and the much-anticipated mushroom hunt. Oh Lord, the food was good, but that’s fodder for another post. The main event was the mushroom hunt.
And I’ll be honest here. As much as I love morels, and as much as I really, really wanted to find morels in my woods again after two straight years of nuthin’, there was a not-so-small part of my being that was also hoping we wouldn’t find any. Why? Because then — and, come on you guys, you should know this by now — I would be RIGHT. It would mean that I haven’t been missing them, as they accuse me of. “They have to be there.” Or do they? Wouldn’t I be vindicated if the famous mushroom hunter himself got skunked in my woods?
You see what I mean?
So we set off, heading into the neighboring woods. They, meandering toward every dead elm, and me, trying not to look too obvious, beelining for the place I had found the ONE, four days before. If I was lucky, I thought, I would find another.
And I did. I found one.
As I was reaching over to pick the lone marauder, I heard…
“Where there is one there are two, and where there are two, there are four…,” (It was my niece in a little sing song voice. Encouraging me? Patronizing me?)
I spun around and screamed in her little face,“That’s a bunch of CRAP! There’s only ONE! One stinking morel! TEMPTING ME WITH IT’S EARTHY DELIGHT!” (Then I pushed her down.)
No. I didn’t really push her down. I might have said “that’s a bunch of crap.” I don’t really remember, but it sounds like somthing I might say to a sweet pre-teen.
At any rate. I was right, there was only one. And that’s what’s important here.
Dave, of all people, went on to find the bounty (above) that we used for our Meatless Monday Eighteen meal. I was thrilled! Because contrary to my family’s opinion, I’m not really all that bad of a person.