Bondi Resort Blog

Come on into our Blog for a look at the wonderful world we've got to share! With over 240 hectares (600 acres) of wilderness woodlands surrounding the resort, just ten minutes from Algonquin Park, we feature over 400 metres (1200’) of waterfront and beach; boat rentals; summer hiking trails winding through fields and woods; 20 km. of groomed cross country ski trails and snowshoeing in winter; access to nearby snowmobile trails for sledders, and a toboggan hill for the young at heart.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Guess What's coming to Dinner?

Mushrooms are an amazing food.  And an amazing plant. We have plenty of guests who enjoy prowling through our trails and woods seeking out edible mushrooms and then enjoying them at the table.

One of the easiest to recognize is the puffball.  Not to mention one of the tastiest...

Dave found this ginormous one while working on the cedar rail fenceline by the road.  With one exception, these big puffballs have no poisonous look-a-likes so they are fair game for beginners. 

Try not to wash this mushroom under water, or it will become too soggy to sauté. Slice the puffball, sauté it, steam it, or simmer it in soups, like other mushrooms. It's also great baked or grilled. It has a rich, earthy flavor with a texture of marshmallows.  Emulating Paul Tapley's favourite recipe, we often fry it lightly in some butter...  delicious.

So, what is the puffball you must never eat?  Why of course it is the False Giant Puffball  (Poison Goalpost Fungus)

Note the cracked surface about to erupt, ejecting enough spores to victimize up to 22 people at once!

This mushroom is so deadly, merely inhaling the spores rearranges your brain's neural synapses, making you race endlessly back and forth across a field, stopping occasionally to jump up and down and cheer or curse insanely, never resting until death from exhaustion ensues. Poisoning is so virulent, relatives of the victim, especially the parents, have been known to succumb as well!

It appears to be a seasonal condition... 

Really, it's easy to tell them apart, so go foraging without fear!  Just beware of the goal posts!

Speaking of foraging without fear, the gardens this time of year always have a very healthy crop of weeds.  Pigweed and Lamb's Quarters are more than abundant, much to Carol's despair. So imagine our delight when we found a recipe for a Puffball and Lamb's Quarters Salad!  Which we are happy to share.  \

Bon appetit!
Raw wild mushrooms may get you sick, and even commercial mushrooms contain carcinogenic hydrazines (similar to rocket fuel) which is dissipated only by cooking. But steamed puffballs are more than suitable in salads, here balanced with equally strong-tasting lamb’s-quarters.

3/4 cups lamb’s-quarters leaves or spinach

1/2 cup steamed pear-shaped puffballs, other puffballs, or other mushrooms

1/3 cup any wild onion bulbs or commercial onion bulbs, chopped

1 tbs. cilantro, parsley, or dill weed, chopped

6 tbs. olive oil

1 tbs. red wine vinegar

1 tbs. lime juice or lemon juice

2 cloves garlic, crushed

Salt and freshly ground black pepper or cayenne hot pepper to taste

Toss all ingredients together and serve at once.

Serves 6

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