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I can see why they call it the giant puffball mushroom!

On Sunday, Jack and I had to take separate cars to church and when it was time to head home, he took the older girls and left before I was done strapping in the other kids. As luck would have it (and it usually seems to be just that with Jack), Jack got lost. In his defense, New Harmony Road is broken up into about fifty segments. While trying to figure out where he was, he and ended up finding something only he could truly appreciate: giant puffball mushrooms.

It was too weird not to touch.

Since moving to Indiana, our family has taken a liking to foraging. We’ve harvested everything from apples, mulberries, maple syruphickory nutsblack raspberries, asparagus, and have even found a few morels in our own yard. So, I really shouldn’t have been surprised to come home to an enormous fugus on my counter.

This giant thing, about two times the size of my head, grows from this TINY stem.

Not satisfied with the mushrooms he’d already harvested, Jack decided to take a trip into the forest to see if perhaps we were lucky enough to have any growing on our property. He took the kids with him while Zoey and I rested. They didn’t find anything there but they did find some pokeweed and decided to paint themselves with war paint. Mind you, they’d just had a bath that morning.

Introducing Princess PoPo, Princess PePe and Queen Nanananananana. I’ll let you decide who was who.
 Even Henry got in on the fun.
And thankfully, the juice rinses right off.

Undeterred by his lack of further discovery, it was time to cut up the giant puffball and see just what giant puffball mushroom tasted like. To say they’re an interesting fungus is an understatement. How they grow, their shape, what they feel like, is so bizarre. Plus, Jack was reading up on them and apparently they’re great for absorbing things. So, if you have a bloody nose, just stuff some puffball up there and call it good.

His bouncing baby puffball.

For about an hour, Jack washed, sliced, sizzled, seared, and seasoned the mushroom and served it up with a side of sweetened acorn squash. Ironically, the mushroom tastes like, well, nothing. Unlike mushrooms like morels or truffles, that have their own taste, the puffball absorbed whatever flavors Jack used. He came up with some very creative dishes and I was surprised how well even the kids liked them.

Plus, we all survived eating wild mushrooms, so that’s a plus.

I think we ate maybe a third of the actual mushroom. Tomorrow, maybe cream of mushroom soup should be on the menu.

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True stories of raising children, remodeling, braving the elements and plotting out life, all while living on a humble acreage in central Indiana.

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