Let me start by saying- I don’t know enough about mushrooms to tell you which ones are edible and which ones are dangerous! All I do know is that throughout the month of October we keep our eyes out for the large puff ball mushrooms that appear in my parent’s woods.
They start off the size of golf balls and grow to the size of a volleyball. You can pick and eat them at any size- but once they are mature they start to go bad quite quickly. An expired puff ball mushroom will have a slight yellow color to the otherwise bright white flesh. When a puffball is entirely expired and aged- stepping on one will release a “puff” of spores like a small cloud of smoke.
This year I was able to enjoy the seasonal find twice. So I thought I’d share the way I prepare these mushrooms!
First I start by slicing off the top layer of the mushroom skin. You’ll notice this part has a much more leathery feel, again- like a volleyball. The flesh underneath is very soft and spongy. I begin to cut off slices of the flesh as I work my way around the orb.
Next- I prepare a fry pan with some melted butter, sliced bacon and onion on low heat.
And begin to throw in the pieces of the mushroom.
It is quite fluffy and you will only fit a quarter of the mushroom in at first, but the mushroom pieces shrink down as thy cook and you can add more. Then I turn the mushroom, bacon, onion and butter over so that none of it burns.
I usually cook it until I get a nice brown color on most of the pieces like this picture.
The mushroom takes on the flavors of everything you throw in with it. One time I added stir-fry beans to the mix. You could also add red pepper or sausage.
And that’s it!
Unfortunately, if you are hoping to find some of your own you will have to wait, but maybe I’ve intrigued you enough to remember to watch for these peculiar fungi next October! I look forward to the simple indulgence of these fried mushrooms, especially since I only get them once a year and I have to forage a little to find them!
How about you? Any seasonal searches for nuts, berry or apple-picking that you can’t pass up?