Mushrooms (see recipe for tips on gathering)
There are many varieties of mushrooms, some of which are very poisonous; therefore you should be careful in selecting them, that you do not mistake the poisonous for the esculent ones. Those that are proper for food are only found in open ground, where the air is pure. They may be found in abundance during the months of August and September, more particularly after a misty night or heavy morning dew. The esculent mushrooms may be told by the color, if carefully examined before or soon after they are gathered. They are then of a dull pearl-colored white on the outside or top, while the under part is tinged with pink. Reject all other colors, and even the white ones, if they grow in low marshy ground, where the air is very much confined. The color of all will change very soon after they are gathered.
Take either the large mushrooms that are young and tender, or the small button ones, which you chose; wash them clean, removing the skins and stalks, put them into a stew-pan, with a little salt, but no water, cover the pan, and stew them slowly till tender; then season them with a small piece of butter rolled in flour, a very little sweet cream, and serve them with the gravy.
The Kentucky Housewife by Mrs. Lettice Bryan, 1839
Comment: As always, we print these recipes exactly as the authors originally wrote them. While we have the highest regards for Mrs. Bryant’s talents as a recipe compiler, we do NOT know anything about her abilities at identifying poisonous mushrooms. Please take that part of the recipe as being of historical interest only, and use store-bought mushrooms for this recipe.