These are not regular mushrooms, they are puffballs. I found them on the smallholding in the orchard and chicken field and thought they would make a lovely lunch. We don’t get to eat many mushrooms as we don’t grow any and there are not that many to forage round here, or rather we don’t know where to look.
Many years ago the huge field, that was the playing field and is now an extension to the campsite and the smallholding, used to be full of mushrooms every autumn. In the autumn after my mum died my dad spent the early hours of every morning sorrowfully and furiously picking every mushroom – keeping them in buckets in the porch until they rotted away. He was in a tunnel of grief that he never emerged from – maybe picking mushrooms temporarily helped, but it probably didn’t. Anyway, as a result of his disquieted picking, or in memory of the loss, no more mushrooms grew the next year and no more have grown to this day.
One day I would like to re-impregnate the soil with mushroom spores so once again we can feast on mushrooms, but that day hasn’t come just yet. Until that time I make do with puffballs and the odd lone mushroom. I sliced and fried the puffballs (I used olive oil, but butter would have been better), then in the same pan I scrambled two hen’s eggs and served it with lettuce, rocket and cucumber from the garden and it was good.