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dankphishin

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They're back....  Puffballs which grow in random places on the farm.  This one we have been watching for a week now and finally DH picked it today.  Heaven only knows how big it would actually grow.  It's not the biggest we have ever picked, but close.  It will be sliced, fried in butter, some eaten and the rest frozen for later use.  Forgot:  11 " (28cm) high with a circumference of 38" (96.5 cm)

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Edited by Darienne (log)
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Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

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And now for the Choke Cherries?  Are they Choke Cherries?  They look like the item described online and in our Peterson book.

 

What on earth can one do with them besides jam or jelly...which we don't eat more than 4X a year?  If that.  Is there anyone nearby who can identify these trees for sure?  Or who wants the berries? 

 

(Don't suggest local folks coming to the farm and picking them please.  I'd love to allow that, but our insurance would not cover any ensuing law suits.  And we don't have pathways for us to give them to anyone that I know of.  At this point.  I'll investigate.)  It's a shame if they go to waste.  The trees are so heavily laden...if they are choke cherries...which I don't know for certain.  I'll pick a puff ball any day...but choke cherries I've never seen before. 

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Edited by Darienne (log)
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Darienne

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The leaves looks right - but most choke cherries I've seen are on much bigger trees and are much darker.  Choke cherries have a huge seed - they are good only for juice or jelly IMHO.

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Thanks Kerry.  Just read a post from FB, from my B-i-L, who speaks also of the large seed.   I'll test for the seed tomorrow.  And then I'll watch for deepening of the colour.  Google images do show both the bright red and the later darker colour.  It's not the end of the summer yet...although it sure feels like it with this weather lately.

 

The photo does not show the trees very clearly...they are not small.  But this is the very first year that any berries have been on them, so they are teenage trees I guess. 

Choke cherry juice?  I'll google it and see how much sweetener it needs. 


Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

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Thanks Kerry.  Just read a post from FB, from my B-i-L, who speaks also of the large seed.   I'll test for the seed tomorrow.  And then I'll watch for deepening of the colour.  Google images do show both the bright red and the later darker colour.  It's not the end of the summer yet...although it sure feels like it with this weather lately.

 

The photo does not show the trees very clearly...they are not small.  But this is the very first year that any berries have been on them, so they are teenage trees I guess. 

Choke cherry juice?  I'll google it and see how much sweetener it needs. 

Lots!

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Thanks Kerry.  Just read a post from FB, from my B-i-L, who speaks also of the large seed.   I'll test for the seed tomorrow.  And then I'll watch for deepening of the colour.  Google images do show both the bright red and the later darker colour.  It's not the end of the summer yet...although it sure feels like it with this weather lately.

 

The photo does not show the trees very clearly...they are not small.  But this is the very first year that any berries have been on them, so they are teenage trees I guess. 

Choke cherry juice?  I'll google it and see how much sweetener it needs.

If not choke cherries, could they be pin cherries? I never can keep them straight.


Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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They're back....  Puffballs which grow in random places on the farm.  This one we have been watching for a week now and finally DH picked it today.  Heaven only knows how big it would actually grow.  It's not the biggest we have ever picked, but close.  It will be sliced, fried in butter, some eaten and the rest frozen for later use.  Forgot:  11 " (28cm) high with a circumference of 38" (96.5 cm)

I saw this picture this morning and I haven't stopped thinking about it since.  That is the biggest dang mushroom I've ever seen!  We have what I call puffballs here, but they aren't the same as yours.  If you squeeze the top of ours, literal "puffs" of spores? spew out.  What does your puffball taste like?  More depth of flavor than a regular button mushroom?

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And there's a second one growing up at the Drive Shed as we speak. 

If you asked my DH what they taste like, he might go on at some length about how delicious they are.  I think they taste like nothing much and if you fry them in butter, they taste like buttery nothing.  But that's just my opinion. 

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Darienne

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Buttery nothing sounds like an improvement!  Not even a hint of mushroominess?

 

I'm intrigued - I'd heard of puffballs being eaten but never trusted the smallish ones that grow at home.


Leslie Craven, aka "lesliec"
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The younger you pick and eat the puffballs - the firmer and better tasting I find them.  Once they have sporulated (what Shelby describes) - way, way past it - next years puffballs.

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Kerry as usual is correct...but then DH likes to wait until they are ginormous.  The one up by the Drive Shed is huge.  (My camera refused to work this afternoon.  It's a dreadful camera.)  I'll try to get a photo again tomorrow and see if I can convince Ed to pick it and then cut a slice off it for a photo.

I should admit that I have long ceased to be much of a mushroom lover. :blush:

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Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

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Then...there are "Pear Puffballs" like those in this pic here...

I can't say I am a fan of those, taste-wise and texture-wise.

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The younger you pick and eat the puffballs - the firmer and better tasting I find them.  Once they have sporulated (what Shelby describes) - way, way past it - next years puffballs.

 

Ahhhhh, I see.  Thanks, Kerry.  So, when I'm squeezing the puffs for fun (because I'm like that lol) they are reaaaally old.  I need to find them way younger.  It must be the climate up there because I don't think they would get any where near as big without succumbing to the puff.

Kerry as usual is correct...but then DH likes to wait until they are ginormous.  The one up by the Drive Shed is huge.  (My camera refused to work this afternoon.  It's a dreadful camera.)  I'll try to get a photo again tomorrow and see if I can convince Ed to pick it and then cut a slice off it for a photo.

I should admit that I have long ceased to be much of a mushroom lover. :blush:

I'd love to see a sliced pic if you can :)


Edited by Shelby (log)
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If not choke cherries, could they be pin cherries? I never can keep them straight.

I am going to check it all out again tomorrow morning.  I've Googled pin vs choke cherry and have some good points to note.  I'm pretty sure these are choke cherries.  Pin cherries form in umbels for one thing while choke cherries are in racemes.  And they are attached slighted differently.  And pin cherry leaves are more scalloped while choke are serrated.  All in a day's work. 


Edited by Darienne (log)
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Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

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Choke cherries have a huge seed - they are good only for juice or jelly IMHO.

I used choke cherries, wild blueberries, smoked elk bones and dried elk meat to make a pemmican consommé. It was tasty and the color was really nice but that's as far as I got with it. Never did get around to developing it into a complete dish. I might have to revisit that.

 


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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Update on foraging on the farm.

 

The tree has been identified as a choke cherry by an expert and already much of the berry production is gone, eaten by local birds.  I don't think I'm going to make anything with it.  The berries are still red and I'll watch this year and see if they turn darker as time passes.

 

Ed's puffball up at the Drive Shed was allowed to grow too big and the innards were beyond eating.  Ugghh.  However, this must be the year of the puffball because yesterday on our perimeter walk with the dogs we counted at least 10 puffballs growing.  They're little now, but they can expand so quickly you can hardly believe it.  I'll report back if we eat any more of them. 

 

Smilax or the Carrion Flower.  We have two of these on the farm, with one being gorgeous to watch.  The green berries turn navy blue as time passes.  It's called the Carrion Flower because the flowers smell like carrion.  Simple.  The references state that it is edible however...I just don't feel comfortable with the idea.  Maybe I'll try...  Last year was the first time I had ever seen it in my life and the local go-to naturalist had never heard of it.  The spheres of berries are quite unusual.

 

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This photo was taken last week and already the navy blue coloring has spread a lot.  My camera just officially died a couple of days ago, so that's it for photos for now.


Edited by Darienne (log)
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Darienne

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Puffballs sprouting all over the farm.  What a year for mushrooms.  DH managed to cut down a number of them unfortunately while mowing the 'promenade' on the farm perimeter.  Today a mature puffball went to the neighbors across the road and tomorrow a second mature one goes to a dog friend.  I wonder how many more will be harvested this year.


Darienne

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I know this is an old thread, but I thought I'd add a site that I discovered earlier this year and have enjoyed: http://www.eattheweeds.com.  It is written by Green Deane and is oriented toward Florida, which is fine with me because I am not from there and am learning a lot about the vegetation of a new area.

I grew up picking wild blackberries (always on the hottest August day when the mosquitos were at their most bloodthirsty). One or twice every June, my grandmother, dog, and I would walk down to our neighbor's pond and pick saucer-sized elder flower blossoms. Tippy, my dog, gave us a good laugh one year when he tried to herd some cattle grazing near the pond. The cattle did not take to this upstart herder and backed him into the pond. Only his dignity was injured. My grandmother would turn the snowy blooms into ethereal Hollerküchle, elder flower pancakes. Later in the season, we would return to the pond to gather elder berries to make elderberry jelly and juice. In the autumn, when the weather had turned cold and crisp, my Mom and I would hike through the woods on my grandparents' farm and gather persimmons. I loved their soft texture and honey sweetness and have never been satisfied by cultivated persimmons.

I live part of the year in southern Germany now. I always make sure to be back here in time for the elder flower blossoms, which I gather from bushes near a tiny monastery on the side of a mountain above town. I still make Hollerküchle, but have added a new recipe for elderflower syrup to my collection. I also gather burning nettles for a tasty risotto or frittata and greens which make a delectable spring salad. I usually miss the Bärlauch (wild garlic) season here, but compensate with the mid-Atlamtic relative, ramps.


Edited by Smithy Fixed broken link (log)
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Word on the street where I live is that they're trying to pass something that would require purchasing a license in order to legally forage wild blueberries. I haven't been able to confirm the truthfulness of this or even the source of the rumor as of yet. One person I talked to claims it was brought up at a recent town council meeting but I don't know for sure that's the case. If it does in fact prove to be true, I (and a very large number of others) will find it greatly offensive. Especially if it's not a provincial thing and just a local money grab. I wouldn't think with most of the popular picking areas being on public lands outside of the actual town-incorporated area that the local government would have legal authority to enforce something like this... but I'm not actually sure how that works.


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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No Freekin Way!! 
All ready?!  Woots, heading to the woods................


Brenda

I whistfully mentioned how I missed sushi. Truly horrified, she told me "you city folk eat the strangest things!", and offered me a freshly fried chitterling!

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That's what we're all saying. It seems early but we've been in the 70s for a few weeks already, and we've had great moisture this season. I'm heading out every morning this week to different spots to see what I can find.

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Nice Rob! We supposedly get spring morels here but I've never managed to find them.


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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