All this Rain

Posted by Anne Quinn Corr on September 16, 2011 

is good for something!

Hurricanes, tropical storm and persistent thundershowers have canceled many baseball and soccer games lately but there is one species in the woods that is jubilant.  Mushrooms are fruiting at a remarkable rate in the woods, black trumpet and golden chanterelles alike, thick masses of them.  Last weekend, on a trip to Lake Cayuga in New York State, it was impossible to walk the trail through Enfield Glen without kicking over russulas and seeing the frightening specter of the amanita, angel of death, underneath a towering pine tree.  Deeper in the wilds, where hikers boots don’t disturb, more surprises—a giant puffball.  I had been dreaming of finding one for years, and thinking about how I would prepare it when it came my way.  It’s neutral, like tofu, but savory and redolent of the woods.  I marinated peeled slices in soy sauce, sherry, garlic, sesame oil and black pepper and then air dried the pieces on a rack before coating with flour, egg wash and Panko crumbs.  Fried until golden in light olive oil. You could put tomato sauce on top—or just enjoy as crisp cutlets maybe with some hen of the woods and pasta on the side. Let it rain.

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