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Time for vegetarians to go hunting

If you’re just not into shooting and eating wild game, you may feel there is no place for you in all the ‘hunting and outdoors’ scheme.

Wrong. The best of times for your particular hunting started last week (or in some places maybe a little earlier) and will continue for about the next four to six weeks. The rain and early warm temperatures spurred the growth of spring mushrooms and they are pushing up all over the place.

Most experienced mushroom hunters have their ‘secret places’ and like any other sportsman or woman will not disclose their cache to others. The hunt was definitely on this past week at and around my home as not only did my husband bring home some of the earthly treasures, but sitting on my patio, I observed several men walking back into the wooded area that surrounds the back of my house.

Novice mushroom hunters need to take this advice very seriously and I will type it in all capital letters to capture their attention. CAUTION: SOME WILD MUSHROOMS CAN SICKEN OR KILL YOU. BE CERTAIN THE MUSHROOMS YOU COLLECT FOR THE TABLE ARE EDIBLE AND ALWAYS COOK THEM BEFORE EATING.

The Missouri Department of Conservation has a good website at which not only talks about edible and poisonous mushroom, but also has photos of them.

Still, when in doubt, DON’T EAT THEM.

My husband went mushroom hunting and brought some home. We quickly had a dispute over the way to prepare them. He said they should be rolled in corn meal, I argued for flour. So, we compromised by rolling half in corn meal and the other half in flour. Of course, he liked the ones in cornmeal best and I liked the ones in flour best. So, take your pick.

Another important thing to remember is the mushrooms need to soak in salt water at least overnight. This kills any insects that might happen to be hiding among the folds of the fungi.

Fried mushrooms

Rinse mushrooms and drain on paper towel

Dip individual pieces into bowl filled with beaten egg

Dredge in flour (or corn meal)

You can either fry them in an iron skillet on top of the stove or deep fry. Either way,  just fry until both sides are brown.

Sprinkle with salt to taste while they are cooling.

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