Ok, this is one you have to be very careful about as there is another mushroom that looks very much like this one; so only try it if you are sure you have the right one. A spore print is very helpful to identify this one. They normally grow on or near old stumps or rotting wood in clusters and are brown. I have some in my yard that are more of a grayish color too. When identifying Honey Mushrooms, they have a "five o'clock shadow" or what looks like fine hairs or stubble on the cap that concentrate in the center. Do a spore print. They have white spores.
I used to flour them before I fried them because they are slimy when wet; but when I tried sauteing them in butter the way I do Morels, oh my goodness! So good. I like to cook them well until they are almost crunchy. ...but that's just me. :) To freeze them, boil for 5 minutes.
Oyster mushrooms are called that because of their appearance, not their taste. They have a white to light gray/lilac spore print. The gills are decurrent meaning they go down onto the base. You will find them on dead trees or logs. Some of the Oyster mushrooms can have a bit of a licorice scent. The ones I picked didn't. They can be dried, sauteed in butter and frozen, or blanched (add to boiling water, boil for 3 minutes, and then rinse with cold water) and frozen.
Also known as Meadow Mushroom and Horse Mushroom.
I can't believe I just learned about these this summer, and they were in my own back yard! I thought they were the same poisonous white ones that grow in my front yard; but if you turn them over, they are pink underneath and very tasty. Actually, they start out light pink underneath and then turn a brighter pink and then turn a dark brown. They taste kind of like the button mushrooms you buy in the store but more flavorful. I did a spore print just to be sure I tried them. They have a dark brown spore print. (The poisonous white ones have a white spore print.) I simply saute them in a little butter and sometimes scramble eggs with them.
I love puffballs but mainly because I find them in my yard in the fall and know other places to find them. The taste is actually quite mild. For beginning mushroomers, these are a pretty safe mushroom to start with unless you get careless. Just make sure to slice them and check inside to make sure there is no evidence of gills or a stem forming (young poisonous mushroom). Also, you want to eat them before they start to turn yellow or brown inside. They should have a uniform appearance inside like a nice slice of bread. There are no poisonous puffballs. There is a look-a-like "pigskin puffball" that is poisonous, but you can't mistake it as it is black inside. It has an off appearance of a "pig skin" on the outside also.
You can cook with them many ways. Some people even bake them into bread. I simply fry them in a little butter and scramble eggs with them. Yum! I have some in my freezer now. You can saute them and then freeze them or dehydrate them.
Also known as "Inky Cap" or "Lawyer's Wig," the Shaggy Mane, Coprinus Comatus, has a bullet-like shape when it comes up, before the cap opens, and is covered with delicate white scales. They are a favorite among mushroomers and easy to identify; but if you are new to Shaggys, they may be a littler harder to identify when they are first coming up from a couple of others; so wait until they start to mature. When it matures, the mushroom's cap starts to turn into an inky black goo, starting at the bottom edge and then melting up. They should be eaten within 4-6 hours of picking as they deteriorate fast or you can saute them and freeze them. You can find them in late summer and fall and are often found in yards and along gravel roads. They are very good in soups, stews, and sauces. I like them sauteed and mixed in scrambled eggs myself. :) Shaggy Mane can rarely cause a mild reaction in some people when consumed with alcohol, so you may want to stay away from alcohol when eating them.
Finally had a couple of Shaggy Manes pop up on my property this year, Parasol ones. I don't remember seeing those before but here is a photo I took. So tasty!!! Just wish I could find more!