Letters

Letters 09-07-2015

DEJA VUE Traverse City faces the same question as faced by Ann Arbor Township several years ago. A builder wanted to construct a 250-student Montessori school on 7.78 acres. The land was zoned for suburban residential use. The proposed school building was permissible as a “conditional use.”

The Court Overreached Believe it or not, everyone who disagrees with the court’s ruling on gay marriage isn’t a hateful bigot. Some of us believe the Supreme Court simply usurped the rule of law by legislating from the bench...

Some Diversity, Huh? Either I’ve been misled or misinformed about the greater Traverse City area. I thought that everyone there was so ‘all inclusive’ and open to other peoples’ opinions and, though one may disagree with said person, that person was entitled to their opinion(s)...

Defending Good People I was deeply saddened to read Colleen Smith’s letter [in Aug. 24 issue] regarding her boycott of the State Theater. I know both Derek and Brandon personally and cannot begin to understand how someone could express such contempt for them...

Not Fascinating I really don’t understand how you can name Jada Johnson a fascinating person by being a hunter. There are thousands of hunters all over the world, shooting by gun and also by arrow; why is she so special? All the other people listed were amazing...

Back to Mayberry A phrase that is often used to describe the amiable qualities that make Traverse City a great place to live is “small-town charm,” conjuring images of life in 1940s small-town America. Where everyone in Mayberry greets each other by name, job descriptions are simple enough for Sarah Palin to understand, and milk is delivered to your door...

Don’t Be Threatened The August 31 issue had 10 letters(!) blasting a recent writer for her stance on gay marriage and the State Theatre. That is overkill. Ms. Smith has a right to her opinion, a right to comment in an open forum such as Northern Express...

Treat The Sickness Thank you to Grant Parsons for the editorial exposing the uglier residual of the criminalizing of drug use. Clean now, I struggled with addiction for a good portion of my adult life. I’ve never sold drugs or committed a violent crime, but I’ve been arrested, jailed, and eventually imprisoned. This did nothing but perpetuate shame, alienation, loss and continued use...

About A Girl -- Not Consider your audience, Thomas Kachadurian (“About A Girl” column). Preachy opinion pieces don’t change people’s minds. Example: “My view on abortion changed…It might be time for the rest of the country to catch up.” Opinion pieces work best when engaging the reader, not directing the reader...

Disappointed I am disappointed with the tone of many of the August 31 responses to Colleen Smith’s Letter to the Editor from the previous week. I do not hold Ms. Smith’s opinion; however, if we live in a diverse community, by definition, people will hold different views, value different things, look and act different from one another...

Free Will To Love I want to start off by saying I love Northern Express. It is well written, unbiased and always a pleasure to read. I am sorry I missed last month’s article referred to in the Aug. 24 letter titled, “No More State Theater.”

Home · Articles · News · Features · Mushrooms Rule! At the Morel...
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Mushrooms Rule! At the Morel Festival

Kristi Kates - May 12th, 2014  


A heated disagreement more than 50 years ago sparked Boyne City’s National Morel Mushroom Festival … maybe.

“I can’t verify this,” said Jim Baumann, executive director of the Boyne Area Chamber, “but it supposedly started with some guys arguing about who could pick the most morel mushrooms.”

Quoting Tony Williams, a five-time morel hunting champion, Baumann said the initial challenge mushroomed into something else entirely.

“That argument turned into, ‘Yeah, well, I’ll see you tomorrow morning,’” he said. “And eventually, it became, ‘Let’s invite other people.’”

WILD GASTRONOMY

The first fest took just two days. Now, the fungus fun encompasses an entire weekend stuffed with events.

At the Taste of Morels event on Friday night, 12 area restaurants and caterers will sell $3 morel hors d’oeuvres, which will be judged through both the Judges’ Choice and Peoples’ Choice.

“This is the signature event of the festival,” Baumann said. “It always draws a big crowd.”

More morels in meals can be found at the fest’s Wine and Dine Tasting Dinner, which is $45 per person. There are two seatings on Friday night at the Beach House Restaurant at Boyne Mountain Resort.

Each seating features live entertainment and five gourmet hors d’oeuvres that are paired with five fine wines from Bayside Beverage, Baumann said.

MOVING MUSHROOMS

Love the idea of mushrooming, but just not in the woods? Try The Great Morel Giveaway on Saturday, which Baumann said is another popular festival event.

After preregistering at select Boyne City stores, participants then join the 200-strong ‘Morel Mob,’ hitting each store for a special drawing. The winner at each store gets two pounds of morels or a $50 gift certificate.

Those needing even more activity can take part in the Charlevoix Area Humane Society’s 5K Run For Their Lives run, also on Saturday.

Or, mushroom heads can bypass all exercise entirely and head straight for the VFW’s morel breakfast, just before the National Mushroom Hunt’s 7:30am kickoff.

In a nod to the festival’s founding, experienced hunters will gather on Saturday in a 90-minute race to see who can find the most morels.

The fest also features daily carnival rides for the little kids. Bigger “kids” can hit the main tent to enjoy rockers Onager on Friday night and local favorite Audio Circus on Saturday night.

Sunday, the non-profit Northern Michigan Cancer Crusaders take over the tent with live music, an auction and edibles.

FOODIE FUNGI

So why all of this fuss around a fungi, even one that’s become a foodie obsession?

“Morels are a great tasting delicacy,” Baumann said. “They are hard to find and they are only available for a few weeks a year.”

Those eager to try their own recipes can purchase bags of fresh morels for $20 to $60 a pound on the street during the festival.

“They are far more expensive out of season,” said Baumann.

Baumann said the dining events, the morel-hunting seminar, and Friday afternoon’s guided morel hunt are among the most popular events.

Pairing a gourmet rarity with a little friendly competition makes this fest a winwin, Baumann said.

“Creating a festival for a simple mushroom is kind of amazing, when you think about it,” he said. “I have been here for five festivals and have met people from England, Greece, Japan, Peru and Hawaii.

“The morel does draw people.”

Boyne City’s 2014 National Morel Mushroom Festival runs from May 15-18. A full schedule, tickets, and more can be found at bcmorelfestival.com.

Morel Hunting Tips from Jim and Tony

Jim Baumann organizes the morel fest, and Tony Williams gives a seminar on morels every year. Who better to give you insider tips for your morel hunt?

• Don’t look at your feet. Keep your head up and look about 25 feet ahead.

• When you do find a morel, slow down and look around, because they grow in groups.

• If you’re not finding many morels, move along, and cover as much ground as you can.

• Look on the south side of hills early in the season, and on the north side later in the season.

• Keep an eye out for ash trees – morels often grow near them.

 
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