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The Suburbanite
  • Meet Julie Powell, the Mushroom Lady

  • Julie Powell is an outdoor enthusiast who loves to go mushroom hunting. Julie spoke to other mushroom enthusiasts and potential mushroom enthusiasts July 12 at the Jackson Public Library. She took the group on a virtual mushroom hunt. During the event Julie talked about the following: varieties of mushrooms, the best time to find them, what they look like and whether they are edible.

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  • “If you don't know what you have, don't eat it,” said Julie Powell the “Mushroom Lady.”
    Julie Powell is an outdoor enthusiast who loves to go mushroom hunting. Julie spoke to other mushroom enthusiasts and potential mushroom enthusiasts July 12 at the Jackson Public Library. She took the group on a virtual mushroom hunt. During the event Julie talked about the following: varieties of mushrooms, the best time to find them, what they look like and whether they are edible.
    Julie has been a mushroom hunter for over 20 years. She has gathered mushrooms from all over Ohio and surrounding states. Julie is all about going Green and taking care of our environment.
    “Go Green, go as green as you can go without being a leprechaun,” said Julie Powell.
    When Julie goes on a mushroom hunt, she packs a bag with clippers, a snakebite kit, off wipes, a mushroom bag (usually a cheap laundry bag), bee sting ointment, a camera and a snack. She mentioned when you go hunting it's important to take a mushroom stick with you to help you keep your balance.
    “When looking for mushrooms, stoop down, look at the lay of the land and watch where you're stepping,” said Julie.
    If you're not careful where you put your foot, you could potentially step on a great mushroom she said.
    Julie brought in several mushrooms she had made out of clay. She has actually sculpted over 75 mushroom species. The sculptures she shared with the audience were so accurate that they looked real. Julie used these sculptures to help explain which mushrooms were edible. After the presentation, Julie prepared a sampling of mushrooms. One dish was called “puffball parmesan” which didn't even taste like mushrooms. 
    Julie will be leading a Mushroom Forage Oct. 2 at 10 a.m. at the Wilderness center in Wilmont, Ohio. To join the hunt, contact Julie at 330-832-5126 or juliepowell16@yahoo.com
    Want to be adventurous? Follow Julie's recipe and enjoy your own puffball parmesan.
    Puffball Parmesan
    • Preheat oven to 350 F
    • Sauté onion, pepper, and garlic in 1tablespoon of olive oil until tender. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, sugar and basil. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer gently 15 to 20 minutes.
    • Combine 1 cup parmesan cheese with seasoned bread crumbs.
    • Melt butter with remaining olive oil in large skillet. Dip puffball slices in beaten egg and milk. Dredge in bread crumb mixture, covering all sides. Fry in butter and oil mixture over medium heat until golden on both sides.
    • Drain on paper towels. Place browned puffball slices in single layer in oiled baking dish. Cover with remaining parmesan cheese. n Bake at 350 F until cheese is melted and all is well heated.
    Page 2 of 2 - (Serves 4 to 6)