Last week, I had a family member drop by a Midwest delicacy, morel mushrooms.

Morels are another reason why it's great to live in this area. The hills and hollers on both sides of the Mississippi, provide some of the best mushroom growing regions known. Just enough shade and sun, along with the right amount of heat and humidity, especially after a light rain shower can make ideal conditions during the early spring months.

I know there are several who brave the ticks, and head out into the woods in search of these tasty fungi.  It seems that most people have their favorite spots, where they have had luck finding them each year.

I have had old timers tell me, that when you find a mushroom, to pinch off the stem at the soil level and leave a bit of it in the ground. I've also been told that once you have picked a mushroom, to shake the mushroom, to help distribute the mold spores back into the soil, so they will again grow for next year. Not too sure if these tips are valid, but I never want to take a chance on not finding any next spring.

There's also debate on how best to prepare the morels. Some like them simply sauteed in butter, while others batter them in egg and cracker meal or flour and fry them. I have to be honest. I have had them both ways and have yet to be disappointed by either method, because they all tasted good!

The most I ever found was in early April about 20 years ago, when I found a five gallon bucket's worth. That was almost as good as a winning lottery ticket. Well, almost.

So, if you're lucky enough to find some morels and have more on hand than you can possibly consume, you know where to find me....