I love this early sign of spring – the arrival of fiddleheads. This wild delicacy is the delicate furls of the Ostrich Fern found in Eastern Canada. If the fiddleheads are not cut they unwind out to the full fern.
The ferns are found in moist areas, along river banks and woodlands. But for those of us who don’t pick our own, we find them in the farmer’s markets and sometimes even in the supermarket. If you are foraging on your own, be sure to identify the correct fern as other varieties may be poisonous. Also, it is recommended that you only cut half of the fiddleheads in the area so that the fern population will continue to thrive.
Fiddlehead s are delicious and their distinctive shape adds a unique visual appeal to a meal.
Wash the fiddleheads well in several changes of water to remove all the brown papery covering of the fronds. The water will run clear and the fiddleheads will be a bright green when cleaned. Snip off the end of the stem that may be brownish. Then drop the fiddleheads into a pot of boiling water and boil for 7-10 minutes. Remove from the water and throw out the water. Don’t keep it for soup as it is bitter and has removed tannin from the fiddleheads. Then use the fiddleheads in a variety of recipes.
1 – Saute the fiddleheads in butter or olive oil with onion and garlic.
2 – Saute the fiddleheads with butter or olive oil, onion and garlic, and mushrooms. Add pesto sauce and serve over noodles. Optionally add salmon chunks.
3 – Fiddlehead quiche
Well this has been quite a week leading up to spring. Storms back to back all week and snow banks mounting up day by day. The first storm squall was 24 hrs and localized to the Antigonish Guysborough areas. The 3rd storm lasted for 2 days with strong winds, blowing snow and 70 cm of snow down. The plows were busy and warnings for everyone who could to stay home. Schools and businesses closed for the most part. Since it was March break a lot of people had their travel plans affected. We are all looking forward to Spring which starts today – even though there are still piles of snow and more on the way on the weekend.
Ahhh weather in Nova Scotia is always interesting 🙂
It’s no wonder that the weather is a topic of conversation in Nova Scotia. In the past 3 weeks since the beginning of January 2014 we have seen province wide swings in the weather.
It started out with a blizzard – a total white out. This was followed by freezing rain and extreme ice conditions where roads and driveways were like a skating rink. Low temperatures continued for several days.
Historical chart of January 2014 at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport courtesy of the Government of Canada
Then came the January thaw where we were back to spring jackets, the ground cleared, green grass and tips of bulbs coming up. It felt like spring – but don’t be fooled! Steady rain for 2 days melted most of the snow and ice. The rivers and streams had an ice breakup and swollen rivers and flooded fields and basements in low lying areas.
Last night, as predicted from the balmy day overnight we got 15 CM of snow – light powdery snow with huge flakes. Early morning everything has a fluffy blanket of snow and little wind so the branches of all the trees are outlined with snow.
Who knows what else the winter will bring but it is sure to be interesting. As I am publishing this there is a promised Nor’easter on the way to Nova Scotia with blizzard conditions. Will leave that for another day.
To check the weather
Articles – January Weather in NS
Winter is almost over but I wanted to share some wonderful winter days that we had. Although we usually have windy days, on a few days the snow just fell down gently in large flakes and coated everything in several fluffy centimeters of snow. A lovely sight.
On another morning a low temperature and high humidity gave us a “Hoar Frost” that coated every leaf, twig and branch in a coating of ice making everything look like a glass fairyland.