Yes! I finished it! I enjoy the sense of accomplishment that comes from learning something new.
I was certain of two edible mushrooms until yesterday. Today, I am certain of four. The gem-studded puffball and the pear-shaped puffball are my two new delights. I’m working on a fifth.
Before I publish this recipe, let me state the obvious: always test for edibility.
When I go mushroom hunting, I divide each species into its own paper bag. I take them out of the paper bag when I arrive home and begin my visual examination.
The fawn mushroom is currently being studied. Last month, I discovered one while hiking with “Wildman” Steve Brill. I’ve discovered it twice since then but haven’t eaten it. I was just interested in the form, how the gills were joined, and the stem. “Wildman” has created replicas out of Sculpey, which is a great way to practice observation skills. It’s also entertaining.
I’m careful enough to examine other mushroom identification books, but “Wildman” has the greatest photographs and the most accurate sculptures. I’m now creating a spore print, and when I sample this mushroom, I’ll take a chunk the size of a green pea.
About the recipe:
Gem-studded (Lycoperdon perlatum) or pear-shaped (Lycoperdon pyriforme) mushrooms sautéed:
- 1. Remove the mushrooms from the paper bag, clean with a cloth or paper towel, and set aside.
- 2. Do not wash or immerse in water.Don’t add salt. This causes the mushrooms to be rough.
- 3. Cut the larger mushrooms into bite-size pieces.
- 4. Drizzle with olive oil and half a teaspoon of lemon or lime juice.
- 5. Melt the butter in a skillet over low heat, then add the coated puffball mushrooms.
- Cook until the vegetables are soft.
When plucked, puffballs are aromatic and have a unique flavor, yet they are delicate. It was delicious as a simple side dish.