Morel and Pheasantback Mushroom Hunting

No turkeys gobbling in the woods this weekend so we hunted mushrooms instead. We had a nice haul of morels and pheasantback mushrooms which made a great dinner Sunday evening.  If you are going hiking and spending time outdoors this time of year, I may be able to help you find some delicious spring delicacies…

Morel Mushroom

  • They are found next to fruit trees and (dead) elm trees.
    • Elm trees have shaggy and craggy bark.
    • Elm trees are commonly afflicted with Dutch elm disease. As its name implies, the disease only affects elm trees, and if you find one you are likely going to find morels.
  • Bring a knife and cut the mushroom just below the cap.
    • This allows the mycelium (the roots) of the morels to stay in place and provide more mushrooms for years to come.
  • Morels are hollow inside.
    • Double check they are hollow before eating.

Pheasant’s Back (Dryad’s Saddle) Mushroom

  • These grow on various very dead hardwoods (especially elm).
  • A tree lying on the ground is your best bet.
    • Wet areas seem to produce more.
  • Most importantly your knife needs to be able to pass through it very easily. Whatever the knife cuts easily is likely to be good. Sometimes just the outer edges are usable but nice

The Recipe

You could also add wild ramps and wild onion to the recipe if you find some.


The Builder

I saw a group of men in my home town.
I saw a group of men tearing a building down.

With a heave and a ho and a mighty yell,
They swung a beam and a sidewall fell.

So I said to the foreman, “Are these men skilled,
The type you’d hire if you wanted to build?”

And he laughed and said, “Why, no indeed.
Common labor’s all I need.
For I can tear down in a day or two
What it took a builder ten years to do.”

And I thought to myself as I walked away,
which of these roles am I going to play?

Am I the type that constantly tears down
As I foolishly make my way around?

Or am I the type that’s trying to build up with care?

In hopes that my community will be glad I was there.

– Lou Holtz


The Unexplored

There was a road ran past our house

Too lovely to explore.

I asked my mother once — she said

That if you followed where it led

It brought you to the milk-man’s door.

(That’s why I have not traveled more.)

Edna St Vincent Millay

Cherry Mustard

This is Chef Adam Lambert’s recipe for a tart and tangy cherry-mustard. You can use it as a spread on a sandwich or a brat, or it makes a beautiful stripe on a cheese or charcuterie board.

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How to Prepare and Cook Woodcock

This is the most detailed video on how to pluck, prepare, and then cook a Woodcock in the traditional way–cooked with the guts left in and with the head left on. This is a much prized game bird, both sporting and culinary wise, a rare top quality product. The filming shows every step up close and in immense detail to achieve a fantastic traditional roasted Woodcock.


Smoke Roasted Salsa

Dip into this salsa and watch the bowl disappear. Tomatoes, onions, jalapeños, and bell peppers are slow-roasted over hickory before getting blended with cilantro and a squeeze of lime.

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Monte Cristo Sandwich

This sandwich combines the world’s two best comfort foods—grilled cheese sandwiches and French toast—all in one bite.

By Sam Galloway
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Every day, I am reminded of the memories and experiences I have shared with friends and family—I am thankful for the past.  The trials and tribulations of past let me muse in adversity present, “is this the condition I so feared?”  It’s a quote from Seneca and it reminds me of the great privilege we all share in being alive today.

Modern technology is amazing and I am inspired by it.  GMOs have allowed us to produce food and lifesaving medications, like insulin, at a fraction of the cost and provide it to communities who previously never had access.  Modern biotechnology companies are constantly finding new ways to cure cancer, prevent diseases, and help us live longer.  The future is going to be great.  Thank you for supporting capitalism and for making these advances possible.

We live in the safest, healthiest, and most interconnected community in human history—that is a real blessing.  Thank you for being the mothers, fathers, and friends who have committed to help make the next era even better.

Max Ehermann’s Desiderata is a poem I read most mornings and I would like to share it with you…

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

I am most thankful for today.  Today I woke up in my hometown, surrounded by friends, family, and colleagues who genuinely support me.  Physically healthy enough to enjoy a morning exercise and a fresh meal without assistance.  Mentally stable enough (some of you may disagree) to engage in thoughtful discussions, share candid moments, and help one another enjoy the day.  Today—right now—I am happy and I am thankful.  Thank you for making it so easy to do.