In the far back of my yard is a loamy, wet area near a creekbed. The area is flat and does get some sunlight. This year I noticed huge white orbs growing in that remote corner of my property. Upon closer examination, I realized they were some sort of fungus. I took some photos and posted them in an online forum for foragers and the orbs were quickly identified as "puffball mushrooms." Disclaimer: Don't go around picking and eating mushrooms if you don't know what you are doing, some varieties are poisonous, have someone knowledgable identify them for you and if in doubt, throw it out.
"You hit the jackpot!" one group member told me.
And, as I found out, I did. I harvested my puffball, one of them was as large as a large watermelon, and I ate puffballs for a week.
🍳 How Do You Prepare Puffballs?
First, you wash your puffball. Once you've done that, spread some parchment paper on your countertop or take out a baking sheet and put your puffball on it. When you slice it in half you will have "puffball dust" and spores that will spread out. Not a big deal, but if you have something like parchment paper or a cookie sheet to catch, then it's no mess at all.
When you cut open the puffball, if it is discolored, yellowish,brownish, buggy, etc, then you're out of luck. Discard it. But if the puffball is pure snow white inside, then you are in luck.
Honestly, the puffball is a lot like tofu or chicken, you can cook it in whatever and cook it however and it'll just soak up the taste of what is around it, so you can be very, very creative!
🍄 Do the Amish Mushroom Hunt?
The Amish - as a general rule - are avid foragers. Gloria - The Amish Cook - has written in her column before about mushroom hunting and she once had a mother lode of morels on her property.
Yes, Amish people do mushroom hunt. Mushroom hunting is a popular pastime in Amish communities, and it is also a way to gather food for the family. Amish people typically hunt for wild mushrooms in the spring and fall, when they are most abundant. Some of the most popular mushrooms that Amish people hunt for include morels, chanterelles, and boletes.
Amish people use mushrooms in a variety of ways. They can be eaten fresh, dried, or pickled. Mushrooms can also be used to make soups, stews, and other dishes. Amish people also use mushrooms in traditional remedies.
Mushroom hunting is a fun and rewarding activity for Amish people of all ages. It is a way to connect with nature, gather food for the family, and share traditions with future generations.
Here are some additional details about Amish mushroom hunting:
- Amish people typically go mushroom hunting in groups. This helps to ensure that everyone is safe and that they can learn from each other.
- Amish people use a variety of tools to help them find mushrooms, including baskets, knives, and brushes.
- Amish people are very careful to identify mushrooms correctly before they eat them. They know that some mushrooms are poisonous, and they want to avoid any accidents.
📋 Step-By-Step Puffball Parmesan
Cut your puffball in half length-wise and make sure it isn't discolored. But then put the puffball on a cutting board or cookie sheet and cut into bite-sized chunks and gather your ingredients.
Don't eat your puffball if they are discolored inside. Puffballs should only be consumed if the insides are pure white.
This is what the inside of your puffball should look like, pure white. You can see the puffball flakes on my counter, so spread parchment paper or put it on a cookie sheet.
You can see I just broke up my puffball and stuck in the skillet, once you begin cooking it you can break it down more. And, no, the puffball doesn't shrink much as you cook it like some mushrooms do. I browned my a little in the skillet first before adding the other ingredients.
Over medium-high heat, add the sauce, cheese, and seasonings.
It really is a wonderful meal and far lower in calorie than a chicken parmesan meal, mushrooms are very low cal.
🖨️ Full Recipe
- 6 cups diced puffball
- 3 cups pasta sauce
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- Pack the puffball into a skillet.
- Pour pasta sauce over puffballs.
- Sprinkle cheese over puffballs
- Add seasonings.
- Cook on high for about 10 minutes, flipping pieces over with a fork several times throuhgout cooking.