Dear Sun Spots: My husband and I recently moved to Maine from Tennessee. Back home we would hunt morel mushrooms each spring between the months of April and May. And, each year we would feast on fried mushrooms. Last spring we looked here for the elusive mushroom with no success.

My questions are: Do morel mushrooms grow in the great state of Maine? And, if so, what is the region in which to find them and what months?

My e-mail address is [email protected] for anyone who would like to talk to me about hunting mushrooms in Maine.

I wish to thank you for any help you can give me. – Michele Tidwell, Lisbon.

Answer:
In addition to responses from readers, Sun Spots spoke with Candice Heydon of the Oyster Creek Mushroom Co. who says “now is the time” for morel mushrooms. Heydon, who’s been in the business some 13 years, says the company she and her husband, Dan, run together, buys their mushrooms from pickers who don’t tend to share where they find them. However, Heydon says you have to have a sweet soil and that morel mushrooms can be typically found in old apple orchards that haven’t been sprayed for several years and also amongst ornamental bamboo. Among the mushrooms they sell are dried and fresh morels.

Heydon recommends you also try contacting the Maine Mycological Association, which puts out a newsletter, “Mainly Mushrooms.” You can reach them through the secretary Linda Clarke at (207) 772-4014. You may also want to sign up for the newsletter or to join the Maine Mycological Association, which meets quarterly and takes field trips to identify edible mushrooms. Clarke recommends you contact Gary Marshall at (207) 878-2060, or by mail at 1808-B Forest Ave., Portland, ME 04103 for the newsletter or to join the association. Clarke also says she would be glad to answer any of your questions on mushrooms. She did note that morel mushrooms are very difficult to find in Maine. Please feel free to call her.

You can reach the Oyster Creek Mushroom Co. at 61 Standpipe Road, Damariscotta, ME 04543, at (207) 563-1076 or via e-mail: [email protected] You can also find them online at www.oystercreekmushroom.com.

Sun Spots hope you and other wild mushroom enthusiasts enjoy this recipe located on Oyster Creek Mushroom’s Web site:

Portobella Mushroom Stuffed with Spinach and Gorgonzola Cheese. Ingredients: 4 Portobella mushrooms (medium size), 1 pound of spinach (washed), 1 large onion (sliced), 1 clove of garlic (chopped fine), olive oil, Gorgonzola cheese, balsamic vinegar, truffle oil. Method: Remove stem from mushrooms and place the caps gills-side-down in a sauté pan, and cook for about five minutes in a little olive oil. Turn caps over and cook with about ¼ cup of water until water disappears. In another pan, cook garlic and onions in a little olive oil until the onions are caramelized. Add spinach until wilted. Stuff caps with onion and spinach mixture. Top with gorgonzola cheese. Cover. Heat until cheese melts, just a few minutes. Serve on a bed of greens and finish with balsamic vinegar and truffle oil.

Dear Sun Spots: I have had the Game Show Network on cable for quite some time. I’d like the snail mail address or e-mail address to write in and find out why they removed the “Trivia Trap Show,” which ran at 9:30 a.m. You’ve helped me before, and I hope you can again on this inquiry. Perhaps my letter will bring it back on TV. Thank you in advance. – No Name, No Town.

Answer:
You can try contacting them through www.gameshownetwork.com.

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won’t use it if you ask us not to). Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be posted at www.sunjournal.com in the Inform Us section under Press Release.


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