First Day of Fall Puffballs

first-day-of-fall-puffballs

Happy First Day of Autumn, photo by Julie

The spring, summer, is quite a hectic time for people in their lives, but then it comes to autumn, and to winter, and you can’t but help think back to the year that was, and then hopefully looking forward to the year that is approaching.
-Enya

Happy second day of fall everyone. I’m usually pretty good about marking that seasonal stuff, but in my defense, I DID eat some puffballs the day before yesterday and marked a few today.

In case you’re interested in exploring edible, wild mushrooms, the giant puffball is considered one of the “Foolproof Four” – widespread and easy to identify mushrooms. Mushroom Appreciation’s page on Giant Puffball mushrooms has lots of pictures, puffball facts, and identification tips and says (in part):

Giant puffballs are saprotrophs, meaning they feed on dead organic matter. They’re more likely found in meadows and grasslands than in the forest. They are always found growing on the ground rather than up in trees.

Giant puffballs are aptly named. They are usually quite large, reaching soccer ball size or bigger. They usually have a circumference (distance around) of 4 to 30 inches, although larger ones are not uncommon. There is no distinct cap and stem with these mushrooms; instead they exist as just large, white globes. They may not be perfectly round. Giant puffballs are white with firm white flesh inside. If they appear yellowish or brown is means that the mushroom is about to/has gone to spore, and is not edible anymore.

…Correct identification is crucial. If you think you’ve found a giant puffball the first thing to do is cut it open. It should have thick, hard, white flesh inside. Don’t eat anything with a brown, black, purple, or yellow interior. It may be an earthball (Scleroderma citrinum) or some other gastric distress inducing mushroom.

This white flesh should be solid with no gills. If you see any evidence of gills disregard immediately. Some species, including the deadly Amanita, have a “universal veil” of tissue that surrounds the mushroom when young. This can make it look like a puffball.

Inexperienced hunters should check with someone knowledgeable if they think they’ve found a giant puffball. An incorrect guess can kill if it turns out to be an Aminita! Please be careful.

Julie shared the Enya quote above, and she shares a ton of great photos in the Absolute Michigan pool. Check her photo out bigger and get yourself in the spirit of the season with her Fall slideshow!

If you do find a giant puffball, here’s a recipe from the Mycological Society of San Francisco’s excellent page on Puffballs from Hope Miller, coauthor of the book Mushrooms in Color.

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • About 1 pound puffballs, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten with 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 tablespoons butter or more if needed
  • 2 tablespoons oil or more if needed

Mix the salt with the flour. Dip the mushroom slices in the flour, then in the egg, and last, in the cheese. Melt the butter and oil in a sauté pan or skillet and sauté the mushrooms slowly until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve at once.

OK. I can do that.

July Blueberries

july-blueberries-by-mark-obrien

July Blueberries, photo by Mark O’Brien

Mark took this back in July with Fuji Superia 400 color film. He says these blueberries have gone on to a better place … a blueberry pie to be precise.

View it background bigilicious and follow Mark on Twitter @nikonfm2n for lots more!!

Wienerlicious

Wienerlicious, Mackinaw City

Wienerlicious, Mackinaw City, June, 2016, photo by Norm Powell

Remember folks: I don’t take the photos, choose the titles … or name businesses Wienerlicious. That said, have a Wienerlicious Wednesday Friday!

View Norm’s photo bigger, click for more of his Pure Michigan photos, and view & purchase photos at normpowellphotography.com.

More Roadside awesomeness on Michigan in Pictures.

Top Dog: Detroit Michigan’s Coney Island Hot Dog

On Any Given Night Lafayette Coney Island

On Any Given Night, photo by Derek Farr

When mLive writer Emily Bingham realized that Michigan didn’t have an official state food, she set out to determine what their readers thought. The winner was the coney island hot dog which squeaked by my personal favorite, the pasty. Share what you think Michigan’s signature food is in the comments!

The Encyclopedia of Detroit entry for the Coney Dog says:

Many people think that the Coney dog, also called the Coney Island hot dog, got its start on Coney Island, NY where the hot dog was created. In actuality, this popular food got its start in Michigan, although the exact location is still disputed. Three locations in Michigan all claim to be the birthplace of Coney dogs: American Coney Island in Detroit, Lafayette Coney Island in Detroit and Todoroff’s Original Coney Island in Jackson.

In 1917, Gust Keros opened American Coney Island. A few years later Keros’s brother opened Lafayette Coney Island next door. Both of these Detroit Coney Islands are incredibly popular to this day, where there is an on-going argument over which establishment serves the best Coney dog. The dispute has been featured on several food television shows, including Food Wars and Man v. Food.

A Coney dog is a beef hotdog, topped with an all meat, beanless chili, diced white onions, and yellow mustard. A true Coney dog uses made-in-Michigan products.

Lots more about the coney dog on Absolute Michigan.

View Derek’s photo bigger where you can also read about the history of friendly competitors Lafayette Coney Island & American Coney Island. See more in his massive Signs & Billboards slideshow.

Michigan food on Michigan in Pictures!

Blackcaps: Blackberry or Black Raspberry?

Blackcaps Michigan Blackberries

Blackcaps, photo by David Marvin

When I first saw these, I was sure they were blackberries, but after reviewing Blackberry or Black Raspberry? from Identify that Plant, I’m changing my mind. They say that Blackberry (Rubus allegheniensis) is frequently confused with Black raspberry (Rubus occidentalis).

I’m leaning towards Black raspberry based on the appearance of the berry, but I could certainly be wrong. What do you think?

View David’s photo background bigilicious and see more in his macro goodness in his slideshow.

More summer wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures!

Strawberry Season, Strawberry Moon

Fresh Picked Strawberries

Fresh Picked Strawberries, photo by Dee

June’s moon is full on full on June 20 at 7:02 AM. It was known as the Strawberry Moon by Algonquin tribes, and it’s looking like Michigan’s strawberry season will be ramping up right on schedule. Here’s a couple of strawberry tidbits via Michigan Strawberries are Ready to Pick on Absolute Michigan:

Strawberries are grown in every county of Michigan and your fun fact of the day is that 53% of seven to nine year olds say strawberries are their favorite fruit. Strawberries are high in iron and Vitamin C – Eight strawberries will provide 14% of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin C for kids – and have less than 60 calories per cup.

Strawberries were a symbol of perfection and righteousness that medieval stone masons carved on altars and around the tops of pillars in churches and cathedrals. In parts of Bavaria, country folk still practice the annual rite each spring of tying small baskets of wild strawberries to the horns of their cattle as an offering to elves. They believe that the elves, who are passionately fond of strawberries, will help to produce healthy calves and abundance of milk in return.

View Dee’s photo bigger and see more in her slideshow.

More strawberry goodness on Michigan in Pictures!

2016 Michigan Morel Season Underway!

Backyard Morels

backyard morels, photo by Jason Rydquist

I’ve been getting word from various parts of the state that morel mushrooms are being found! They’re one of my favorite Michigan foods, and over on Absolute Michigan today I’ve put together Five Things you need to know about Michigan Morels. It includes a new online tool that could be of use to morel hunters so check it out!

View Jason’s photo bigger and see more in his slideshow.

Lots more morels on Michigan in Pictures.