Brakes, turtles and puffballs

Lot of little things going on this past week.

The Travco’s brakes are finally finished! Total cost came in around $2,600 – $1,600 for parts and shipping, the remaining $1,000 for labour. It was driven to the welder for chassis repairs today and should be done before Thanksgiving weekend. After that it goes back to the garage for a seized parking brake, then a propane system check. Once that clears, we can get the vehicle certified and insured.

I am still knitting the cab privacy curtains. They are huge! I will have five or six weeks’ labour involved once they are done, but they will look fabulous.

While waiting on the Travco repairs I’ve had a couple other things going on. A few days ago I was walking down the sidewalk in Picton when my husband shouted to me “Don’t move! You’re going to step on a turtle!” Startled, I froze and looked down. I half expected I was being pranked, as my husband has done this before, telling me more than once I’d dropped my pocket.

This time it was no joke. There in the middle of the sidewalk in downtown Picton was a tiny snapping turtle. Several blocks from any water source, the little guy must have been picked up by a bird, then dropped from the sky.

The Loonie sized turtle didn’t stand a chance where he was, so I picked him up and brought him home. My husband had already named him Speedy. I phoned Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre in nearby Napanee. The person who answered said I should return the snapper to the closest body of water from where he was found. She also said it was fine for me to keep Speedy for a couple hours so my son could see him when he got home from school.

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We released Speedy in a creek that led to Picton Bay. He seemed right at home as he drifted away on the current. We hope he has a successful hibernation and grows into a big mossy-backed adult.

A pleasant surprise greeted my husband and I the next day. We were returning from picking up the mail when one of our neighbours offered us a fresh puffball. He said he harvests wild puffballs in the wooded area of his farm every autumn.

I’ve only ever eaten these wonderful mushrooms once. My mother pan-fried slices of pristine white puffball in butter and I recalled they were delicious. I’ve tried pieces of this puffball in an oriental stir-fry, and oven-roasted with pork chops and onions. Both recipes came out very tasty. I may try slices on the barbecue next, served like Portabellas on hamburger buns. Or maybe crusted with parmesan cheese and pan-fried. So many options!

Looks like I have plenty to keep me busy until we finally get the Travco in our yard for the winter. I may get to work in it for a couple days when Indian Summer comes, but most of the renovation will likely be done next spring.

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3 thoughts on “Brakes, turtles and puffballs

  1. Pingback: Brakes, turtles and puffballs | Joanne Fralick's Words

  2. I have heard puffballs are OK to eat – my parents get them in their yard sometimes. I am not a mushroom person, but I do love hunting them and cooking them for others.

    And I have never seen such a small snapping turtle! They are actually cute at that size!

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  3. Joanne Fralick

    This little guy was probably hatched in June. We have lots of nests in our area. Unfortunately they have a lot of natural predators – raccoons and birds especially – as well as the dangers of traffic.

    I cooked the puffballs in three different ways – I put them in a crockpot with a beef roast, pan fried them in butter and garlic, and put them in a stir-fry.

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