Sunday, October 16, 2005

Humungous Fungus

This is the time of year when giant puffballs pop up on the forest floor, as if by magic, looking like a soccer ball that has been kicked into the garden. In my Euell Gibbons/long hair days, I would have picked this, sliced it up like bologna, and sauteed it. However, I have since then lost some of that hair and developed more of a taste for frozen Snickers bars, so now I just admire these clowns of the mushroom world. For younger people (which for me is all too rapidly becoming most of the world's population), Euell Gibbons wrote a series of books about foraging for food in nature, like "Stalking the Wild Asparagus", which were wildly popular in my hippie days. Unfortunately, Euell died at an embarassingly young age, which kind of put a damper on his followers. Posted by Picasa

My neighbor found one of these while running, just after I lent him my book on edible wild mushrooms in NA. He gave me a sizable portion, which I sauteed with garlic, butter, salt, and pepper. The mushroom was great, but I was reliving the garlic for two days. (I like my garlic barely cooked.)
Wow. I guess I've always encountered these too late for gourmet dining.

They shouldn't shatter in a 'puff' when you slice them, right?

thats the first thing I thought when I saw that shroom....dinner!
Well, sauteed in enough butter, they are pretty good. It's kind of mushroom overkill, though,since you've got this basketball-sized mushroom in the frig, that you're slicing off of for about three days, and then you just go "blechh", and get out the Smickers bars. They do go "Puff" when they get old enough, and with this big a puffball, it's pretty cool to kick them, and see the spores blow out. Of course, you don't want to sleep in a dark room for a week after that, for fear mushrooms will grow out of your nose.
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