Saturday last, while riding the old mower out behind the barn, down one of the hiking trails on the home place, totally zoned out and listening to the music inside my head, I passed by one of those ephemeral fungi that I'm always on the lookout for - a nice looking puffball that was not there the day before. Being totally zoned out, I motored right past the thing and blasted it with all the myriad junk that spewed from the side chute of the mower - at about the same time that I decided I wanted to eat the thing. So it was covered with grass, raspberry stems, jack pine needles, red pine pollen, aspen seeds, leaf mulch, and whatever else makes up the general dust and dirt of the forest floor - maybe a dose of poison ivy oil for good measure, as I'd been chopping up a fair amount of that too, but I figured I would just wash it off and everything would be cool. So I cruised the rest of the trails and retrieved the puffball on the last loop of that annual mowing chore.
It turned out to be a dandy find, so delicious and nary a reaction to the poison ivy!! Dodged that one. I'm not advocating the consumption of fungi here, only relating my tale.
So here's a recipe for Zonation Puffball:
Wipe the shit off the puffball with a damp paper towel
Slice into incredible half inch slabs of white meat (if it is not snow white inside, don't eat it)
Saute the slabs in a tablespoon of butter (puffball, much like eggplant will absorb whatever lubricant that you fry it in, so use your favorite grease in your preferred dosage)
Place the slabs on a cookie sheet
Liberally coat with marinara sauce and fresh grated parmesan cheese
Place under the broiler for a couple of minutes until the cheese melts
Now here's the weird part - while bouncing along on the mower in a half conscious state, the music that played in my head was Stephen Stills singing "Wooden Ships"- you know the line........
Say, can I have some of your purple berries
Yes, Ive been eating them for six or seven weeks now
Haven't got sick once
Probly keep us both alive..........