Letters

Letters 10-20-2014

Doctor Dan? After several email conversations with Rep. Benishek, he has confirmed that he doesn’t have a clue of what he does. Here’s why...

In Favor Of Our Parks [Traverse] City Proposal 1 is a creative way to improve our city parks without using our tax dollars. By using a small portion of our oil and gas royalties from the Brown Bridge Trust Fund, our parks can be improved for our children and grandchildren.

From January 1970 Popular Mechanics: “Drastic climate changes will occur within the next 50 years if the use of fossil fuels keeps rising at current rates.” That warning comes from Eugene K. Peterson of the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management.

Newcomers Might Leave: Recently we had guests from India who came over as students with the plan to stay in America. He has a master’s degree in engineering and she is doing her residency in Chicago and plans to specialize in oncology. They talked very candidly about American politics and said that after observing...

Someone Is You: On Sept 21, I joined the 400,000 who took to the streets of New York in the People’s Climate March, followed by a UN Climate Summit and many speeches. On October 13, the Pentagon issued a report calling climate change a significant threat to national security requiring immediate action. How do we move from marches, speeches and reports to meaningful work on this problem? In NYC I read a sign with a simple answer...

Necessary To Pay: Last fall, Grand Traverse voters authorized a new tax to fix roads. It is good, it is necessary.

The Real Reasons for Wolf Hunt: I have really been surprised that no one has been commenting on the true reason for the wolf hunt. All this effort has not been expended so 23 wolves can be killed each year. Instead this manufactured controversy about the wolf hunt has been very carefully crafted to get Proposal 14-2 passed.

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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