After a hot dry summer, a couple of cool nights and some rain is all the mushrooms need to encourage them to burst forth. These beauties come from “regular” spots, that is, my friend Laurie finds giant puffballs in the same place every year in a spot she can see from the road while driving by. I find Maitake in the same public park every year. The trick it to get there before the lawnmower does, so I thought the morning after Labour Day would be a good bet, and it paid off.
Check out some Puffball recipes here and here. Maitake is great sautéed in butter or bacon fat eaten any way you eat regular mushrooms. Both can be dried and reconstituted for soups. Maitake has medicinal properties and can be made into tinctures or infusions.