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Schooling in morel mushrooms: From a student learning to a teacher smartly observing, school is in

Addison Goolsbee found his first morel mushroom as an urban forager and Matthew Schultz delivers smart observations on spring forager, as befits a teacher.

Addison Goolsbee with his first morel mushroom as an urban forager. Provided photo
Addison Goolsbee with his first morel mushroom as an urban forager.
Provided

Addison Goolsbee did some outside schooling this week.

“Just in time for the end of high school classes, my son entered the ranks of the urban foragers by finding this morel in the Chicago city limits,” his father Austan Goolsbee tweeted.

Addison, 17, who does Lab School, found morels and pheasant backs [dryad’s saddle].

“Wasn’t a bad haul for an hour of work,” his father tweeted.

Addison Goolsbee with a mix of morels and pheasant backs found after school as an urban forager. Provided photo
Addison Goolsbee with a mix of morels and pheasant backs found after school as an urban forager.
Provided

Meanwhile, to the western suburbs, where teacher Matthew Schultz foraged.

“I present to you a small bounty of DuPage County black and grey morels,” he emailed. “Somewhere near the DuPage River is as close as I’ll give ya.”

Keeping morel spots secret is born of necessity.

As befits a teacher, Schultz elaborated on morels.

“I love finding these tasty black and grey ones early in the season here,” he emailed. “They make you bend down close to the earth to find them. Such a great feeling. Next, with the heat, come their bigger cousins, the giant yellows—the size of beer cans that you spot 25 yards away jumping through the forest floor. Still fun, just different.”

Bring on the big yellows, I need all the help I can get.

“The black and greys are quiet and intimate,” Schultz described. “They make you slow down and listen for their whisper. The yellows are a loud, raucous romp through the woods.”

I’m all for “a loud, raucous romp through the woods.”

He further endeared himself with an artful food preparation and photo.

Matthew Schultz presents a spring bounty of black and gray morel mushrooms along with pheasant backs (which he will pickle) and ramps (from a farmer’s market). Provided photo
Matthew Schultz presents a spring bounty of black and gray morel mushrooms along with pheasant backs (which he will pickle) and ramps (from a farmer’s market).
Provided

“For good measure, I grabbed some pheasant backs,”” he emailed. “[Those] I will slice thinly and pickle like green watermelon rinds, which they smell so similar to. The ramps are from a farmer’s market. I wouldn’t pull the bulbs if I were wild harvesting them.

“All of it for a special weekday spring dinner: grilled trout with walnut/ramp pesto and morel/butter/shallot sauce.”

Good Lord.

For good measure, he finished, “Luckily, I teach at Wheaton Warrenville South High School and I get to show my students pictures and stories like these to spread the love of the outdoors!”