Find dinner in your own back yard
by Jaclyn Witherly
Sometimes dinner can be discovered right in our own backyards.
That’s what Michele Buckley realized just as Thanksgiving was wrapping up. She was outside, near Buckhorn, when she came across a very large puffball mushroom.
While many wild mushrooms are poisonous, the puffball has some distinguishing features and is completely edible.
All puffballs don’t have an open cap with spore-bearing gills; spores are inside the actual body. Most puffballs aren’t poisonous, but some look very similar to deadly ones such as the young agarics, the amanitas, the death cap and the destroying angel mushroom.
It is recommended to cut any large mushroom found in the wild in half, and if it has white flesh inside, it is safe to eat.
“The only reason I knew what it was is because of my dad, Brian. He’s an avid outdoorsman and hunter as well,” Buckley explained. “We always try to find seasonal wild treats such as fiddle heads, ramps and puffballs when we are out in the woods.”
The giant puffball can grow as big as a foot long and is pretty simple to recognize. If it is found before the spores have formed, and the flesh is still white inside, it is safe, and delicious to eat.
“It grows in the woods and meadows in late summer, early autumn in the area so I was pleasantly surprised to find it this late in the season. It was a very decent size!” expressed Buckley.
She sliced it up and traded half for leftover turkey and fried the other half for herself. Mushrooms are versatile and can be added to countless recipes. Buckley says she even fried a huge slice and enjoyed it on a hamburger bun.
Mushrooms are quite nutritious, as well as delicious and are even better when they are discovered by accident.
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