Tag Archives: oddities

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!

This Ram was Ten Yards Long Sir and His Horns Reached the Sky

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This Ram was Ten Yards Long Sir and His Horns Reached the Sky

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November 10 1871–Almonte Gazette

A three-year ewe by Mr. John Gilmour,  the local butcher was just killed and dressed and weighed over 147- lbs. Considering that the average weight is about 80 lbs., this specimen of a dead giant sheep ls worthy of a special mention in our paper. It was reared on the farm of Andrew Cochrane, of Ramsay, and was of the Leicester variety.The sheep apparently was as ‘large as the famous *Derby Ram whose praises are sung in story. Cochrane’s ewe has supplied our citizens with “chops” and “roasts” on Tuesday last.

 

 

 April 2 1897–Almonte Gazette

Smith’s Falls is bound to outdo Carleton Place. The news tells of a freak owned by Mr. J . H. Gould—a calf with five legs, four ears and three eyes. Four of the legs are where nature intended they should be, and the fifth is growing just near the root of the tail. The ears are placed where they should be, but two on each side, and the additional eye is just behind one set of ears.

 

March 28 1873–Almonte Gazette

On the 16th a ewe belonging to Mr. John Sutherland, 7th concession of Ramsay gave birth to a ram lamb having six legs—all perfectly developed. The lamb is of unusual size and very woolly. The two extra legs protrude from the front shoulder, one of them being turned backwards. A large number of people have visited Mr. Sutherland’s farm to see this modem wonder, and have expressed their astonishment at such an unusual freak of nature.

April 30, 1897-Smiths Falls Recorder

A cow belonging to Mr. John McLeod, Smith’s Falls, gave birth to a calf with two heads.

April 2 1897–Carleton Place Herald

Dr. McGregor, of Carleton Place has secured a freak—a calf with two distinct heads and two necks. He will have it taken care of by Pete and Jimmy Garvin who did a  lot of taxidermy on High Street. See also-Shades of The Godfather in Dr. Preston’s Office in Carleton Place

April 30 1897-Almonte Gazette

Mr. John Lindsay, of Blakeney, has a Plymouth Rock hen that laid an egg for the Almonte Gazette competition that measures 7×84 inches —and it wasn’t a good day for laying, either. She is understood to be reserving herself for even a greater effort. The egg can be seen on the editor’s desk.

1873-Almonte Gazette

Mr.William *Devlin, of Perth, blacksmith, has in his possession a young eagle caught in a trap in Drummond township, about two months ago, by his brother, Samuel Devlin. The bird measures, seven feet from tip to tip, and is still vigorously growing. When caught it was manoeuvring around the carcass of a horse, whose attractions were too powerful to be withstood by the bird of liberty, even with an ugly looking trap placed in a leading position in the middle of the equine remains

historicalnotes

*Derby Ram The Derby Ram or As I was Going to Derby is a traditional tall tale English folk song (Roud 126) that tells the story of a ram of gargantuan proportions and the difficulties involved in butchering, tanning, and otherwise processing its carcass.

Perth Courier, March 21, 1890

*Devlin–On Wednesday last the remains of Mr. William Devlin, Sr., of Drummond were brought to Perth and interred in the Roman Catholic Cemetery, Rev. Father O’Donohue conducting the burial service.  The late Mr. Dodds died at the age of 94 years having been born in the town of Castlebar, County May, Ireland about the year 1790.  He came to Canada in 1821 settling at once in the Township of Drummond.  He had a family of 9 children, 6 of whom with his aged widow survive him.  Mr. Devlin was a man of sterling character and a firm Liberal.  He had many connections in Drummond, Perth and other parts of this section of Ontario and being widely known in the locality his funeral was a very large one.  The infirmities of old age were aggravated by an attack of La Grippe which was the immediate cause of his death.

 

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News and now in The Townships Sun

Related reading

Shades of The Godfather in Dr. Preston’s Office in Carleton Place