Old Books on Camping & Tents from Google Books

Google Books is a very interesting research resource, and a great one simply to explore through. I was browsing through it tonight and came across several interesting books which I have embedded below. They are all 'Full Preview' versions, so you can see every page of the books. Click on the 'More about this book' link at the bottom of each display window to see it in larger format. Enjoy!

Practical hints on camping By Howard Henderson - 1882

Hunting, Fishing and Camping By Leon Leonwood Bean - 1942

Camp life in the woods and the tricks of trapping and trap making By William Hamilton Gibson - 1882

Tents and tent-life from the earliest ages to the present time By Godfrey Rhodes - 1859



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The Hunt: Harvesting, Cooking and Eating a Giant Puffball (Calvatia gigantea) Mushroom

The other day I went on a hunt in a local conservation area. I harvested, cooked and ate some of a Giant Puffball Calvatia gigantea. These are choice mushrooms, and considered highly edible when still white and firm.

Giant Puffball (Calvatia gigantea) Mushroom
Giant Puffball, with characteristically cratered surface.

This Giant Puffball shows the characteristically cratered surface, along with an almost bi-lobed body.

I pulled a Giant Puffball out of the ground, and you can see the very small 'root' that provides nutrition to it. This was about as thick as a graphite pencil.

Carrying the Giant Puffball was surprisingly tricky. I didn't want to dent it, and at the same time, the weight of it began to make my arm sore. I mean, it wasn't probably more than 5 pounds, but it was bulky.

I put it on the cutting board, took out the frying pan and stared at the rounded beast before me for a few moments.

I started by removing the base. You can see the base interior beginning to turn brown - the eventual state of this Giant Puffball is a big powdery, dry, dark brown crusty ball, emitting spores into the wind as it crumbles into pieces.

I pared away some of the skin and harvested out the white, firm flesh.

Here is a closeup of the marshmallow-like texture. It was cool to the touch, because of the moisture contained within the tissue.

I skinned the beast.

I cut it up into bread slice thickness.

I noticed quickly that I had way too much to consume by myself, and ended up giving some to my neighbour.

I dredged it in flour, salt and black pepper.

I shook off the dredging powder and laid the pieces aside. I was wondering what it would taste like, but soldiered on.

Soon a rich scent filled the kitchen - and the mushroom began to resemble chicken strips.

It smelled glorious. It didn't smell like normal button mushrooms, more like - well, more like chicken and zucchini.

Into the frying pan, I put a little bit of olive oil, and butter. Once it was hot, I laid the strips of the Giant Puffball onto the pan. It sizzled.

I put it onto a plate, and gobbled it all down. It was amazing. I am going to do this again soon, and highly recommend that every single person reading this post, who lives near Giant Puffball mushrooms, immediately go out, harvest, cook and eat some.



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