Cooking with Pear Shaped Puffball Mushrooms, aka Lycoperdon pyriforme

L pyriforme habit NEMF GE

So yesterday, on our walk in the woods with the dogs, we found a cache of lovely little Pear Shaped Puffball Mushrooms, aka Lycoperdon pyriforme.

We only took a small amount because I have so many dried in storage from last year.

We field clean mushrooms so that they aren’t a real pain to clean at home; all that leaf debris, dirt, bugs…  Just a quick rinse and ready to go, oops, I see one not properly field trimmed down there!clean puffs

When you start slicing you need to watch out for yellowing centers,   this is an indication that the puff is old and will not be good.   Puffballs, all edible types, should have a beautifully white interior.

old puffs

these actually are beautifully white, just bad lightingsliced puffs

The texture of puffballs is like the texture of a marshmallow.  A bit of a toothy soft chew.

The flavor is mild, it does get a bit more pronounced once dried, then rehydrated.  They absorb flavors really well.

So I decided to do 2 things with the harvest –

Marinated,  and Parmesan Puff Crisps.

For the Marinated –

I used the smaller for the marinated which meant mostly just halving, then sauteing.

Ingredients,  I’d say I used

  • 2 C cut up puffballs
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • tsp each chopped thyme, and rosemary
  • lg pinch of chili flakes, plus s&p to your taste
  • abt 1/2 c water,  if I’d had some white wine open I’d have used that.
  • abt a Tablespoon of cider vinegar.
  • olive oil

Start with a very hot pan, I used cast iron, add enough oil to cover bottom and ripple when moved.  Add the mushies, and brown, then toss in some fresh herbs and garlic, I used thyme and rosemary, I also tossed in some red chili flakes because everything tastes better with a little kick..  Once the garlic softens the oil should be just about gone.  I then added a bit of water, enough to reduce for a broth.  Then I added about a T of vinegar and let the acid burn off just a bit.  Taste your broth and season as needed.   If you can taste a bit of acid from the vinegar this should last a few weeks in the fridge.

sauteeing puffsgarlic herbs puffs

Marinated Puffballsmarinated puffs

For the Parm Puff Crisps

I followed the same instructions as with the marinated.  I used the larger puffballs so sliced them into thick slices, same amount of garlic and herbs except I used rosemary and oregano.  No vinegar or chili flakes were used.  I let the water boil off till the pan was nearly dry.  I removed the pan from the heat, spread the mushrooms out and topped with a generous amount of shredded parmesan cheese.  The heat left in the pan will melt the cheese.  Once the pan cooled a  bit so that I could pull out pieces and they would hold their shape I set them on a silpat to cool and dry.

I think making quarter size crisps would be a great party tray addition

Puffball Parmesan Crisps

parm puffspuff parm crips

If you find a really large type puffball (Calvatia gigantea, commonly known as the giant puffball), these recipes still work, just peel them and cut as desired.  I have heard that some people are sensitive to the skins on the giants.

here’s a great video on large puffs

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Some new pottery pieces

I have come such a long way in one years time.   I am now finally making some things that I am quite proud of.

Don’t get me wrong, some of the previous stuff is ok: and I have amazing friends who have taken, and use pieces.  But I definitely see the imperfections – ohhhh,  I am hearing John Legend,

“.Love your curves and all your edges
All your perfect imperfections…”

Here are 2 recent pieces that I am really happy with –

This one is from my Mixed Media class; incorporating found items with our pottery work.


This piece is from a series of medium sized rectangle plates I’ve made with a variety of leaf patterns.  We use the plates daily.  When I made this one I left the wide rectangular uneven edge.  I will definitely make more of these!




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I finally did it!

I’ve been threatening myself that I was going to drop FaceBook, and I finally did it!

Sort of!

I kept it for my Foraging resources, and for Local Events.


I did unfriend all my Friends.   Nothing personal,


Posted in Everyday Stuff | 4 Comments

A hunting we will go….

It has been so dry this year in Richmond Virginia.  It has been over a month since our last rain fall of anything more than dew.

This has made mushroom hunting, and foraging of any sort rather disappointing.

Today was no exception except for the 2 firsts we  found from this mornings outing to the woods with the dogs.


Ischnoderma resinosum,  which is found as either a solitary, to several together on rotten broadleaf and coniferous trees during late Summer and Fall.

This resinous polypore has demonstrated the ability to effectively decolorize a wide spectrum of chemical and synthetic dyes ; such as Orange G, Amaranth, Remazol Brilliant Blue R, Cu-phthalocyanin and Poly R-478 (Eichlerová et al., 2005 and 2006). These dyes are environmental pollutants, usually carcinogenic or mutagenic, and difficult to remove from the environment.

IMG_3690Lions Mane, aka Hericium erinaceus  is another which is both an edible,  and a medicinal mushroom.  It is native to North America,  and is a member of the tooth fungus group.

Research suggests that Lions mane may offer a range of health benefits, including reduced inflammation and improved cognitive and heart health.

So anyway,  we brought these few mushrooms home with us.  There were a few others, but I didn’t bother to gather them.

When lunch time came rolling around I cleaned them, sliced them, and pan fried them in a bit of garlic infused olive oil, with a bit of fresh thyme, salt, and pepper.

pretty darn tasty!

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My first piece of commission pottery!

a friend sent me a request for a type of vase she at seen at an in-laws house.   It was pretty cool.  Neither of us knew what it really was.

Took me a little bit of research, but turns out it was an ikebana vase!

ikebana vas.jpg

I made no commitment, but thought I’d like to give it a try.

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_4e72.jpgUNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_4e77.jpgapparently I neglected to take photos while I was making the piece.

These photos are after hours burnishing the outside, then bisque firing.  Here it is with the glaze on, ready for the glaze kiln.

I glazed the interior a light blue.  and I used a stick on stencil, poured the glaze over the exterior in 3 different layers to get a very solid deep saturation.

and here is the piece


I am quite pleased, and my friend is just tickled pink.

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More pottery pictures

I’ve gone through more pottery photos;  feel free to stop here if they are of no interest, buuuut…..


UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_4e5c.jpgthis was a very fun piece to make, one of my first experimental pieces,  first you make the cylinder (aka vase, jar,…) then you roll out small coils and just smear them down the outside surface.  The tough part is getting the clay all back to the same moisture level, to then start slowly drying it for firing.  If you don’t do all the rehydration and slow drying things will split, crack, peel, and fall off.


UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_4e5f.jpgthis is the first sort of stylized vase I attempted  – this is it with the glaze on prior to being put through the glaze kiln.

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_4ea6.jpgthis is it at home.  I am fairly happy with it!


UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_4e66.jpgthis is a project that went wrong but then turned out.   I started out to make a teapot.  By the time I had the bowl/pot part made it was too big to be useful.  So after a bit of pondering….voila



This set of photos is using the license plate I got in 1976 in Colorado,  it moved from car to car, it was on the car we took to Merida and still on the car when we came back in 2016.



more fun stuff to come – I just started a mixed media pottery class – using other ‘stuff’ incorporated in to your pottery designs.

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So I’ve been taking these pottery classes…

A year ago I took my first pottery class at Visual Arts Center here in Richmond.  I love it!

I am getting ready to start my 4th session.  Would have been 5th session but I broke my wrist last March.UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_4cdb.jpg

I tell everyone I am making crap, but I making better crap.   I am inspired by so many things; I see patterns and colors and textures everywhere now.

I have been remiss in photographing my stuff but have decided to start doing better, and to try to post pictures here as a record mostly for myself of how I am progressing.

These are the very first 2 pieces I made.  A cup, and a snack tray.


With each class I bought extra clay and made quite a few things at home.  Plus I have lots of Open Studio access time.

And here are a bunch of things I made in either my first or second class.  A lot of these things have been gifted away.


in my first class I made Tom a mug; far left;  way too small.  In the second class I made the one in the middle which he uses all the time – although I blew it with the handle.  So then I made the 3rd, far right, but the handle broke..  guess it’s time to try again.


It’s fun for me to look at a progression of a piece –






my third class was more focused; boxes.

we started with votive/candle boxes;



then planter boxes;







then lidded boxes;






I’ve made a few other things, just on my own, with inspiration from Pinterest among other sources.









ok.  that is enough for now.   As I do more I will post more.

Posted in Everyday Stuff, pottery | Tagged | 11 Comments