To be eatable, the puff-balls must be perfectly white to the very center. Pare off the skin; cut them into slices; dust with salt and pepper. Have ready in a large, shallow pan a sufficient quantity of hot oil to cover the bottom. Throw in the slices and, when brown on one side, turn and brown on the other; serve at once on a heated dish.

A La Poulette

Pare the puff-balls; cut them into slices and then into dice; put them into a saucepan, allowing a tablespoonful of butter to each pint of blocks. Cover the saucepan; stew gently for fifteen minutes; lift the lid; sprinkle over a teaspoonful of salt and a dash of pepper. Beat the yolks of three eggs until light; add a half cup of cream and a half cup of milk; pour this into the hot mixture, and shake until smoking hot. Do not allow them to boil. Serve in a heated vegetable dish, with blocks of toast over the top.

Puff=Ball Omelet. - Pare and cut into blocks sufficient puff-balls to make a pint. Put a tablespoonful of butter into a saucepan; add the puff-balls, cover and cook for ten minutes. Beat six eggs without separating, until thoroughly mixed, but not too light; add the cooked puff-balls, a level teaspoonful of salt and a dash of pepper. Put a tablespoonful of butter into your omelet pan; when hot, turn in the egg mixture; shake over the hot fire until the bottom has thoroughly set, then with a limber knife lift the edge, allowing the soft portion to run underneath; continue this operation until the omelet is cooked through; fold and turn onto a heated dish. Serve at once.

Other delicate mushrooms may be used in this same manner.

Puff=Balls with Agaricus campestris. - As the Agaricus campestris has a rather strong flavor and the puff-balls are mild, both are better for being mixed in the cooking. Take equal quantities of Agaricus campestris and puff-balls; pare and cut the puff-balls into blocks; to each half pound allow a tablespoonful of butter. Put the butter in a saucepan, add the mushrooms, sprinkle over the salt (allowing a half teaspoonful always to each pint); cover the saucepan and stew slowly for twenty minutes. Moisten a tablespoonful of flour in a half cup of milk, add it to the mixture, stir and cook for just a moment, add a dash of pepper, and serve in a heated dish.

This recipe may be changed by omitting the flour and adding the yolks of a couple of eggs; milk is preferable to stock, for all the white or light-colored varieties.