At some time in late August or September, after the ground gets a good soaking, the puffballs appear in the pastures. I knew they were edible but hadn't tried them until the county sanitarian, who was mapping the septic field for my in-laws' house, dropped by and dared/offered me to try them. I did. They were good.
That was earlier in the summer. When this later crop popped up in the pasture, I picked some firm, lightbulb to softball sized, specimens and headed for the kitchen. If you are going to try them, make sure they are a homogenous white inside. If there are some glow worm tunnels you can cut them out and you will be ok. (well, that is what I did.) I washed them and sliced them into thin pieces, the thinner the better, since the thicker slices got a little soggy. I fried them in lots of butter until golden on each side. I also had to add a little water to the pan to keep things sizzling rather than smoking.
They are really good. Not "I'm eating wild food off my land so I'll put up with this not-so-great food". They taste like regular mushrooms but have a lighter texture. We will do this again.
That's a picture of puffballs and mutton chops. A one-pasture meal.
Something went terribly right this year. We have a lot of wild hazelnuts on the farm and occasionally you see a few nuts on the bushes but not many. A couple of years ago I planted a couple of cultivars, Jefferson and Theta, and, for kicks, I transplanted a wild one from the edge of the woods about 50 feet away to join them. This spring I was going to pull up the wild one until I saw it was covered with nuts. I had never seen this many nuts on a wild hazelnut. I'm not sure why, was it the full sun? Anyhow, it seems the cat patrol kept any squirrels away while I watched the crop ripen. I didn't pick any until I noticed a few clusters fell to the ground in early October. That was my queue to pick all of them.
I put them in the house to dry in a couple of cardboard boxes by the windows. They are small but quite good.
Since we already have the Jefferson variety and this is Jefferson country, an unnamed family member said we should name this native variety Sacagawea. The full name is NutSacagawea but the "Nut" is silent.