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Preserving Giant Puffballs


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#1 phlegmbae

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Posted 08 September 2018 - 11:07 AM

Anyone have any tips on how to preserve these delectable fungi? There is an abundance of Giant Puffballs this year in my area. Historically my wife and I eat one or two a year. One can only eat so much of them, so fast. Otherwise they spoil. I'm considering dehydration, and possibly pickling.  Actually I'm open to any and all preservation methods. Any tips would be much appreciated. 



#2 onediadem

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Posted 08 September 2018 - 12:02 PM

I watched a youtube video about someone canning them. It's been a while though so I don't remember all the specifics.



#3 Skywatcher

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Posted 08 September 2018 - 05:32 PM

We used to pick them every year and eat them fresh in all kinds of stuff. They have to be fresh as they turn pretty fast. I was young, but I remember my Grandmother fried them in butter, and then froze the fried slices. We could thaw as needed and add to eggs or pizza, but I do remember the frozen was not as firm as the fresh.



#4 Sidestreet

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 04:51 AM

Greg Marley describes a few good preservation methods in his book Chanterelle Dreams, Amanita Nightmares.  He mentions the method that Skywatcher's grandmother used: lightly sauteing in butter and storing in the freezer.  They can go right into the frying pan when you're ready to use them.

 

He also talks about drying mushrooms well and storing them in glass jars or thick, well-sealed freezer bags.  If you're going to dry them, the oven is probably not the best place to do it for all mushrooms.  When you're ready to use them, rehydrate them by putting them in a bowl and covering them with warm water.  You can use the water for soup stock.  You can also simmer the dried mushrooms in water to make the stock.  Marley suggests dicing rehydrated mushrooms due to the resulting texture.

 

Finally, he gave a recipe for mushroom duxelles sauce that can be kept in the freezer until you're ready to use it:

 

2-4 tablespoons butter, olive oil, or a mix

2 pounds mushrooms, coarsely chopped

salt and pepper to taste

3-4 tablespoons minced shallots

2-4 tablespoons white wine

a sprig or two of fresh thyme, tarragon, or dill

 

apparently you just saute the ingedients until it reduces to a thick paste.  It's used as a flavoring in various recipes, as a garnish, or as a spread on crusty french bread.  It can be stored for a couple of weeks in the fridge or frozen in muffin tins to make pucks that will store in the freezer long-term.


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#5 GLP

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 07:23 AM

We dehydrate every variety I can get my hands on, 125 degrees for whatever length of time needed. Let completely cool and store in glass jars, vacuum seal them in the jar if you can. Check them after a couple of days, they will evenly distribute the moisture between everything int he jar. If you rushed them a little it might be necessary to throw them back in the dehydrator for a few hours. The storage for a few days is called "conditioning". Sometimes the moisture get's trapped on the inside of the food, the conditioning allows it to escape to the surface where it can be dehydrated.

 

Good luck.

:tinfoil:


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#6 phlegmbae

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 04:52 PM

Thanks for the replies. I figure they're better to be used fresh, but I was still curious about preserving giant puffballs. We ended up sharing the surplus puffballs with friends and family who were all to happy to take them off our hands.


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#7 Coopdog

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 05:11 PM

Yours must be a better variety than we had back in Ohio. I ate them a few times, but it is sort of like eating a fried sponge. No flavor at all other than what it is cooked with and the texture made them pretty unenjoyable for my taste at any rate. I wish they tasted more like most other mushrooms man what a bounty a couple of those big balls would be!


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#8 GLP

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 05:54 PM

Your right Coopdog, they do no have much taste. But once they are dried I can always powder them to add into soups, seasonings, etc., with other varieties to increase the flavor. I love them pickled, but Mrs. GLP does not like them that way, so I have to hide them inside other foods, just like a little kid. LOL, did she hear me say that?


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#9 phlegmbae

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Posted 11 September 2018 - 12:12 PM

"Yours must be a better variety than we had back in Ohio. I ate them a few times, but it is sort of like eating a fried sponge. No flavor at all other than what it is cooked with and the texture made them pretty unenjoyable for my taste at any rate. I wish they tasted more like most other mushrooms man what a bounty a couple of those big balls would be!"

 

Yeah, well you're right there. They don't have a whole lot of flavor, but the old adage is "You don't look a gift horse in the mouth". Being a firm believer in accepting whatever bounty comes my way, I like utilizing them as best as I can. We try to enjoy them, and we do at least once a year. Plus.... it's free! Besides, the puffballs were just a bonus along the road to our usual forage grounds. They're pretty easy to spot while you're driving. I found a trunk load of them. The truth is, some of them do taste better than others. For whatever reason, I don't know. I did find Red Chanterelles, and Old man of the woods that day also. We were primarily going for Stumpers, Honey mushrooms, or whatever they're called in your neck of the woods. I've never seen so many types of Boletes in my life. In fact there were beautiful blue basidio's, and even vivid purple too. I've never encountered most of those fungi before. But no Stumpers. Damn it!


Edited by phlegmbae, 11 September 2018 - 12:16 PM.

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