There was a buzz of excitement amongst the adults in my aunt and uncle's Brookfield home, as they laid their treasures on the kitchen counter.
They had just returned from a mushroom hunting expedition at Kinsey Park and the 2 neighboring homes and had struck pay dirt.
Boxes of Puffball and Morel mushrooms were their prize.
This was back in the late 1950s and I was just a kid. What was so exciting about mushrooms I wondered? They were good to eat! (I was a picky eater back then and wouldn't touch even a button mushroom with a ten foot pole!)
About 10 years ago, the puffballs were out again en mass in the park and adjoining yards. They looked like volley balls strewn about the hillside. Since then I always looked for them but haven't seen any.
But last weekend, I spotted 3 while on a walk--one in the park, 2 in nearby yards. Another name for them is Le crâne de la mort, Skulls of the dead
in French, and they do resemble a skull. If you are in the woods, keep your eyes open for the puffball mushrooms.
They are interesting and edible. BUT BE SURE YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING BEFORE YOU CONSUME THEM!!! Check the websites below. They have good photos and compare the true puffball with the deadly, smaller look alike.
Lycoperdaceae: The True Puffball Family
American Mushrooms: Gem-Studded, Pear-shaped and Giant Puffballs
Kids often like to find very mature Puffballs. They get quite large and more tan in color. When kicked, they spew a cloud of spores into the air.
Let me know if you have ever eaten them. I have never quite had the nerve to try them.
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Practically Speaking, Fairly Conservative, Betterbrookfield, Mark Levin, Vicki Mckenna
Labels: Brookfield, Good food / recipes, Nature, Parks