May 11, 2015

Mother's Day should always involve fiddleheads and ramps

A few years ago a Mother's Day tradition involving fiddleheads began for me.  Some Mamas would prefer jewelry, or a new skein of alpaca yarn.  Others hanker for spa treatments and shopping sprees.  Still others desire nothing but the love of their offspring.
I am none of those women and Champ knows it.  I like nature; especially eating things straight from nature's woods.  The tradition goes that on or around Mother's Day, Champ drives me to a known spot on the side of the road that sells fiddleheads.  We load up.  I am euphoric for days on end.  Bear shares my Spring enthusiasm, so this year I taught him how to forage for fiddleheads since he is my only competition in the house when it comes to gobbling them up.

The fern buds are delicious I kid you not, but admittedly the specific seasonality of them and the way they are acquired is what I am most in love with.  It all feels very Vermont to me.  That's not to say fiddleheads aren't embraced elsewhere (for starters, ask any Mainer); it just underscores some of the things I find enigmatic, but wonderful about where I live.  This environment serves my soul perfectly.... even when I'm not physically 
exploring the woods for these succulent green bits.  Here's the deal:

1- why would I when they are pre-cleaned and sold at a fair price?
2- in the woods these days I am fixated on finding ramps.  Once I master them, maybe I will move on to fiddleheads.

      Look!  My first independent find of ramps.  Thanks foraging coach B for for teaching me well!

As a bonus to this Mother's Day post, I'm going to share a way to cook up some of those 
tasty fiddleheads foraged from the forest floor or from a neighbor's blue cooler.

Soba noodles with panfried fiddleheads 

*Parboil a handful of fiddleheads for 5 minutes or until fork tender (the water will probably turn a bit brown). 
*Rinse fiddleheads under cool water and set aside to drain.  
*Prep a handful of soba noodles according to package directions.
* heat up your oil for frying.  I use a wok and canola oil.
* prep your 3 part dipping station: 1 bowl of flour 1 bowl with whisked egg 1 bowl/bag with dry batter mixture.  I use a homemade Bisquick type mix and add in a bunch of garlic powder.
* dip your fiddleheads in the flour, then egg, then dry batter.
*fry in small batches for 3-4 minutes
fiddleheads are needed for this recipe, cute Mother's Day teacup present from your son is optional.

They end up looking like vegetarian fried shrimp

* grate some carrot and find your black sesame seed container
*happily discover chives flourishing in the garden and use some
* put the whole thing together and...

there you have it.  Top it off with a little tamari or soy sauce, then dig in while thinking fondly of the motherly figures in your life.
Happy Mother's Day!  Happy Monday!  Happy Extended Birthday week to: Melissa, G.A.D, Mason, Cole, Kyle, Addison, and G-dad! Who did I miss??! 



elizabeth said...

how lovely! sounds yummy! glad you had a nice day and this special time!

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