Life has been a little slow this year for local mushroom hunters. It's been unusually cold with few warm spells, and extremely wet, more so than normal. I've heard of one or two people finding a few black morels, which is a feat anytime since they're small and hard to see, and by now surely someone has stumbled over a few gray ones.
But the big yellows are likely a week or two in the future, and those are the ones we hurry out to seek each year. Large, dark gold, succulent fungi that taste better than anything I've yet found in a supermarket, and given a warm rain and a couple of following warm days, they'll soon be popping up in woodlots all over the area.
There have been plenty of articles written about how to find morels, and I've written a few myself. But what do you do after than onion sack is filled with tasty morels? Lots of things.
When you get the fungi home, the first step is to slice them lengthwise and soak the lot in light salt water for half an hour or so to dislodge any tiny insects that have made a home inside. Then rinse them well, set some aside for immediate use, and freeze the others. One top way to freeze mushrooms is to fill a half gallon milk carton with them, add water and freeze. "There's no freezer burn this way." I was told by one old timer. "I've kept them for two years in cartons and had them taste fresh when I thawed them out."