Yes! I did it! I like the confident sensation of learning new things.

Until yesterday I was sure of two edible mushrooms. Today I am sure of 4. My 2 new delicacies are the Gem studded puffball along with the Pear-shaped puffball. I have a fifth under study.

Before this recipe is shared by me, it is time for my disclaimer: ALWAYS test for edibility.

When funguy chocolate gather mushrooms, I put each species in its own paper bag. When I get home, I take them from the paper bag and begin my visual study.

The mushroom under study nowadays is the fawn mushroom. I discovered one on a hike with “Wildman” Steve Brill last month. I have found it two times since, but didn’t eat it. I simply studied the shape, how the gills were attached and the stem. “Wildman” has made replicas out of Sculpey – which is an excellent method to improve observation skills. It is also fun.

I am mindful enough to consult other mushroom identification guides, but “Wildman” has good photos and his sculptures are accurate. I am now making a spore print then when I do sample this mushroom, it is going to be a piece the size of a green pea.


Sauteed Gem studded (Lycoperdon perlatum ) or Pear-shaped (Lycoperdon pyriforme) mushrooms:

1. Remove mushrooms from paper bag, trim dirt and wipe with a cloth or even paper towel

2. Do not wash or even immerse in water. Do not salt. That makes the mushrooms tough

3. Cut the larger mushrooms into bite-size pieces

4. Coat with olive oil and one-half teaspoon of orange or lime juice

5. Set pan over low heat, then add coated puffball mushrooms

6. Cook until tender

Puffballs are fragrant when picked and they do have a distinct flavor, but it is delicate. I enjoyed it as a fairly easy side dish.

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