Know what this is? Hint: Once in a while when I'm taking a fall walk in the woods, I come across one of them.
I leave them alone, but some of them edible.
Gertrude Park's Going Wild in the Kitchen (1965) has a few ideas for this little guy, though:
It's a puffball! They are a type of mushroom and apparently, they taste like it since the recommended recipes would work for more common mushrooms-- saute in butter, cook in cream, or add raw to a salad.
This is one odd delicacy that I have actually consumed, though I barely remember it since I was maybe five or six at the time. Someone found a puffball in my grandparents' woods and they decided to cook it.
I really wonder if I'm misremembering the details, though, because the way I think my grandma cooked it would totally NOT make sense for a mushroom. I think she sliced it up, dipped the pieces in flour, sauteed them, and then served them with maple syrup since the the flat, round slices resembled pancakes.
I love mushrooms, and I loved the maple syrup grandpa cooked down every spring from their own maple trees, but I can't really imagine mushrooms and maple as the best of friends.
That little memory, probably at least a bit faulty, pops up along with the puffballs this time of year. I'm glad to see it, even if it is more than a little confusing. Have a memorable fall weekend!