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Posts Tagged ‘Twin Cities Outdoor Adventures’


When the Lilac’s begin to bloom it’s time to start hunting. Visitor’s to Fat Man’s Landing know when winter’s chilly breeze is replaced by the warm sun and smells of Mother Earth’s fall display decaying, you will find me hunting for my favorite mushroom — the Morel. How do you find Morel’s?

TIP: Search south-facing hillsides for trees that have died and are now loosing their bark. Look around the base of trees and as far out as 30-feet!

Wild Morel Mushroom Soupmorelmushroomsoup

Ingredients:

  • 2 -1/2 cups fresh Morel mushrooms
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 Green onions
  • 5 cups beef stock (cook roast in crock-pot for pulled beef sandwiches; save the juices)
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 2 fresh chives roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper

Instructions:

  1. Heat oil and butter in a large skillet. Add chopped green onions, garlic and 1 sprig fresh thyme and sauté for 5 minutes.
  2. Chop fresh Morel mushrooms and add to the pan. Stir over medium heat until softened. Pour in the beef stock and bring to boil. Add fresh thyme, salt and pepper. Lower the heat, half cover the pan and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Pour about 3/4 of the soup into a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Return to the remaining soup, stir in the cream and heat thoroughly. Check consistency, adding more stock or water if the soup is too thick. Serve hot and sprinkle with chopped chives and fresh thyme.

Special Note: You can add Horseradish to spice to give it some kick!

 

 

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First Cast 2011

A group of Hooded-Megansers beat their wings against the water as they fly away from beneath the undergrowth. Wild Roses, Dog Wood and young saplings dip their branches into my favorite Crappie lake. Walking closer — two Grey Herons fly over the trees.

“That’s odd?” I thought to myself. “That’s kinda early to see Herons.” It’s the middle of March and all the lakes are still frozen – but not this one! Because of the heavy snow and potential of winter kill, the Minnesota DNR has underwater aerators running to keep the water open.

Sadly, looking down into the water lay thousands of pale-motionless dead fish! Only the silhouettes of shadowless bodies identify what kind of fish it was. Sunfish, Crappies and Largemouth Bass completely litter the shoreline.

What is Winter Kill?

Winter kill happens during long-harsh winters like the one we had this year. When deep snow covers shallow lakes, the lake is sealed off from the atmosphere and cannot be recharged with oxygenated air. Ice and snow reduce the amount of sunlight reaching aquatic plants, thereby reducing photosynthesis and oxygen production. Deeper Twin Cities lakes with larger oxygen levels can withstand the stress and will usually survive.

In desperation, I’ve seen shore-owners with plows and snow-throwers trying to remove the dense snow pack to allow more light to penetrate the ice.

February, is generally the most critical month. This is about how long smaller lakes can stand, as the rate of oxygen consumption increases by living aquatic organisms and depletes the supply of oxygen stored in the lake.

As I make a few cast….my memories of a great Crappie lake may be all I take home today.

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