A fiddlehead fancy

On a warm, variably sunny and cloudy Sunday afternoon in April, along a swampy riverbank somewhere upstate, a girl and her two poodles, a Slow Foodist from Munich, a wacky naturalist foraging guide, and a bunch of amature foragers went on a hunt for the elusive fiddlehead fern..

Ouch.. That’s not a fiddlehead. Be sure to wear your gloves when handling young stinging nettles..

Beware.. Don’t confuse curly dock with larry dock or moe dock. Guffaw snort*..

Spring beauty.. ..may taste like a peanut, but it’s hardly worth the work to gather enough to clean, prepare and eat..

Nope. They’re not the new band.. ..at the Mos Eisley Cantina. And dutchman’s breaches won’t fit no matter how many veggies you eat..

That’s not a fiddlehead either.. But the purplish flower of wild ginger makes a perfect subject to sketch..

Hark. What is that the poodles sniff.. It seems we may be onto something..

Fiddleheads. Pluck pluck.. Fiddleheads. Pluck pluck.. Fiddleheads. Pluck pluck.. But don’t pluck too many or they won’t grow back..

That’s just enough for a fiddlehead omelette..

Back at the ranch..

Be sure to wash your fiddleheads first,.. ..before steaming them a few minutes,.. ..and sautéing a few to enjoy the buttery, asparagus-y, artichoke-y flavour..

A foraged fiddlehead omelette
Serves two hungry foragers

Crack five fresh organic brown eggs into a bowl and use a dinner fork to beat them until well mixed. Don’t forget a pinch of sel and a few cracks of fresh piper. Meanwhile, your favourite omelette pan is heating and melting some good butter and a drop of olio. Pour the beaten eggs into the pan and let the bottom seal for a few moments. Now for the fun part. Drop the fiddleheads into the egg. Plop plop plop.. More please. Plop plop plop.. Yes please, keep going, Plop plop plop.. Once you’ve plop plop plopped all your foraged fiddleheads into the egg,.. ..be sure to turn the flame down to medium-low, or this is what will happen.. But all was not lost. The foraged fiddlehead omelette turned out okay.. ..and was enjoyed by two foraging friends..

..Coincidentally, two poodles are seeking legal consultation to recoup alleged losses for an afternoon spent frolicking in nature.

Bon appétit et fais de beaux rêves..

*I cannot claim ownership of this joke. Thanks goes to Wildman Steve Brill, who puts on quite a show for all the folks that come out to join on his weekly foraging tours.

2 Comments

  1. Wow that looks like a fun time. I was wondering if you have any advice for a novice forager. I live in east TN and would love to go but never really have any experiance. Thanks looks like an awsome time!

  2. Hi John, Check with Steve Brill. He knows of groups to check with in different regions around the country. He’ll email back if you contact him directly.

    Thank for reading. Cheers!

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