Tag Archives: odd things

Oddities — Lanark County Puffball Mushrooms

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Oddities — Lanark County Puffball Mushrooms

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Photos from the Canadian and Gazette files from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

 

 

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Maureen Logan (nee McDonald) and Christy Zavitske McNeely–Photos from the Canadian and Gazette files from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Ben MacRae That’s one giant puff-ball, isn’t it? A large mushroom like growth. I found a few as a kid and mom would dice them up and fry them in butter. So yummy.

Wesley Parsons We would slice the big ones up and fry them like a slice of ham – very delicious…

Linda Seccaspina Was anyone afraid of poisoning??? Just asking..🙂

Krista Lee No,I remember eating puff balls and morels

Ben MacRae No, we all trusted the wisdom of our elders! It wasn’t their first rodeo! lol

 

The giant puffball, Calvatia gigantea (earlier classified as Lycoperdon giganteum), reaches a foot (30 cm) or more in diameter, and is difficult to mistake for any other fungus. It has been estimated that a large specimen of this fungus when mature will produce around 7 × 10¹² spores. If collected before spores have formed, while the flesh is still white, it may be cooked as slices fried in butter, with a strong earthy, mushroom flavor.

Puffballs are sometimes found in a large circle called a “fairy ring”. Check out the page on fairy rings to learn more about this fun phenomenon.

Giant puffball mushrooms have possible medicinal uses as well. Remember those trillions of spores they produce? The dried spores can slow bleeding if they’re used as a coagulant. They were reportedly used in Native American folk medicine to treat bleeding and prevent infection.

The use of Calvatia gigantea in folk medicine led researchers to to investigate it further. In the 1960’s they isolated the substance calvacin, which was shown to inhibit sarcoma in lab mice. Calvacin is now cited as one of the first substances with antitumor activity isolated from a mushroom

f you are certain you’ve found the right mushroom it should also be the right age. Only the younger, immature giant puffballs are edible. Again make sure the flesh is white and solid. Anything brown, broken, soft, or full of brown, dusty spores is too mature to eat.

Eat puffball mushrooms soon after harvesting as they don’t keep well. You may find them too mushy after freezing and thawing. It is possible to dry and reconstitute them although they may be a little tough.

The most popular way to eat them is to fry in oil with a batter (really good). These mushrooms can be a versatile food item. Some other quick ideas to enjoy them:

  • Sautéed alone or with vegetables.
  • Broiled alone with a marinade or in conjunction with another recipe.
  • Dice them into smaller pieces and stir fry in place of tofu.
  • Use instead of eggplant in any recipe. Giant puffballs are a great replacement for eggplant!
  • Remove the top and hollow out the mushroom into a bowl. Cook the hollowed out pieces with some other ingredients (peppers, spices, whatever you like) and place back into the puffball shell. Wrap the whole thing in foil and bake in the oven, checking on it occasionally to see if it’s done. Delicious!

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  26 Sep 1951, Wed,  Page 3

 - MOUNTAINOUS MUSIUIOOM This ponderous puff-ball,...

Clipped from The Ottawa Journal,  26 Sep 1951, Wed,  Page 3

 

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)

 

 

relatedreading

Beware of the Lanark County Fairy Rings

The Faeries of McArthur Island- Dedicated to the Bagg Children

Did Bad Nutrition Begin with Importing Onions?

Cry Me a Haggis River!

Where is This in Carleton Place? Chaos on William Street?

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We have a few landmarks in Carleton Place. I have already written about our “Statue of Liberty” and have you visited our local Labyrinth? It may be not like the one in the film The Shining, but it is a lot of fun, and it’s all ours! Of course it its right behind our Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum.

After I looked up the history of William Street I came across some pretty ghastly history. What do you really know about William Street in Carleton Place?

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“A Mr. Aitken, from Appleton way, used to leave town with his horses on the gallop down William Street, but they arrived at a more sedate pace on entering the town”.

Okay, that was a social note in our local Canadian paper in the late 1800’s but did you know that William Street had a lot of bad luck haunting it?

William Street in Carleton Place had its list of tragedies, perhaps, more so than any other street in Carleton Place. A young Glover child was killed by being crushed under a lumber yard wagon; Billy Glover was fatally injured sliding; Bob Illingsworth shot in a bar room squabble; Miss Reynolds drowned; Mr. Summers had legs crushed in lumber yard; amputated twice but gangrene set in and he died.

Mr. Quackenbush was run over by a lorrie the first day he worked in the lumber yard; he said he always had a premonition that he should not take a job there; around the turn of the century Abe Morphy Jr. drowned; Neil McDonald died from an overdose of sedative; Harry Clark fell down cellar; Proctor Moore fell in a C.P.R. culvert.

Amanda Armstrong added:  Another tragedy on the street, a young boy who lived in the orphanage – Which has now been my family’s house for the past 70 some odd years, died when he fell from a tree across the road.

Gee… when nothing goes right –go left!!

July 20 1899 Ottawa Journal