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Saturday, 4 September 2010

Natures Bounty

OH took Missy for a quick walk this morning but was back rather promptly as there was a fishing match on down where we regularly walk her.  However, he did not come back empty handed.  He bought me three puffball mushrooms.  I was both delighted and then thrown as I although we had spoken about the puffballs before and trying them, neither of us to date had tried them.

Puffballs are meaty - they smell mushroomy and are best so everything I have read suggests served simply in slices cooked in a little butter, which I did but I added some fresh chives to the mix.  What a revelation.  We one puffball between us just to taste with some hunks of bread and butter.  This one is definitely going on my repertoire list.

The recipes suggest that this mushroom can be used in place of aubergine as it also takes on the flavour of the items that they are cooked with. However, as with all things much care must be taken the puffballs should only be eaten if their innards are white if they are turning yellowy or purpley, dispose of.  All I did was take a thin peel off the puffball and then chopped it in slices.  It is very spongy and soft and is cooked within a couple of minutes in a little bit of butter.  Serve.

I am going to do some slices of this for the freezer as it will be marvellous with game pie or casserole in the freezer months.  I also intend to do a duxelles and freeze it into individual ice cube trays to bring out and use when needed.

Puffballs I uhderstand are also a good specimen for drying and then turning into a mushroom powder.  Each mushroom variety that is dried like this imparts their own particular flavour when preserved and helps add another layer of flavour to whatever you are cooking.  However they must be processed straight away as once picked they start to deteriorate.


OH now has instructions to bring home any puffballs that he might come across.

One more for the store and one more recipe for the repertoire

UPDATE

OH came back with another one this morning.  Now have to look for something to do with this for the pantry.

4 comments:

  1. If I lived anywhere near you I would call for a looksee . I rely on mush,. from the s,market--cottonreel

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  2. I am always very wary of eating mushrooms I see in the forest or garden. In our local forest in autumn there are loads of people collecting mushrooms, mainly cepes.
    I suppose I should buy a book, but we can take any mushrooms to the chemist and they will confirm if they are Ok to eat.

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  3. Sounds yummy... I have never tried a puffball, will have to keep a look out now. x

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi ladies lovely to hear from you I too am very wary - even though I am a country girl and was bought up to identify manner native wild plants by my father,including various mushrooms. I don't these days pick them as I really need to go on mushroom identification course as it is many years since I last used the knowledge I had and I tend to err on the side of caution at the best of times. However puff-balls are quite easily identifiable by their size and everything I have read about them is quite straightforward i.e. if they are going yellow or purpley in the middle (after the puffball has been cut) you just don't use them as they are past their best. The flesh on the inside should be pure white. This yesterday was a revelation to me as I had never tried this before. I am funny with mushrooms anyway, but the flavour of this was absolutely delicious and a real surprise. Its something I intend to make use of in the future. Now all I need to do is find a mushroom identification foraging course to go on. I think perhaps to see what you are supposed to be picking gives you a visual library to check back on in the case of uncertainty. So hands on for me works best.

    I have happy memories of collecting field mushrooms with my father as a child and then coming home and eating them cooked in butter with a fry up. Its something that as a family we used to take pleasure in as it was wild and unspoilt.

    I agree that the supermarkets don't always do what we need them to do or supply families needs. But they are a resource and we have to use what is available to us and open to us and what crosses our path or acquring those skills to make us better providers and keeping our families above the parapet, well fed and warm. The older I am getting the more I am going back to the basics that I was taught and trying to make the most of what is available to me. We can all eat quite well (although perhaps not fancily if we are sensible about things. Part of the problem today is that we have had too much choice so then get into a dither over what we really need or really want, and end up forgetting about the basics, which at the end of the day is where everything grows and springs from. Just like the mushrooms.

    Take care ladies

    Pattypan

    xx

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Meet the Moggies

  • Merlin (approx 18 months)
  • Squeak (approx 2 years)
  • Poppy (approx 16 years)
  • Tyson (approx 17 years)
  • Tinky (official name Clover approx 18 years)