FERNS, FIDDLEHEADS AND A LITTLE HONEYSUCKLE TOO – FRIDAY’S PHLOG FOR JUNE 20, 2014

fiddle head and fern collage

I took a few pictures in my garden this weekend – my pictures really do my garden justice because I’m only focusing on the beauty, I’m not showing you the overgrown weeds that I’ve not had the time to pull.  My honeysuckle vine is now growing over my fence and blooming flowers like crazy – I love the smell of honeysuckle but I’m always disappointed that the flowers are gone way too soon.  The fern might not look like a big deal to you but the little fern you see pictured in the collage is a big deal to me.  The fern is a Japanese painted fern and eventually the fronds will shade silver in colour.  Apparently the Japanese painted fern can take 2 – 3 years to reach mature colorization.  Mine will take more like 10 years as I planted this fern three years ago and I did not get one single frond.  As a matter of fact I pulled out the root by accident while weeding and couldn’t figure out what plant it was because nothing had ever grown from it.  I stubbornly put the root back in the ground hoping it would grow.  I love ferns, they are a simple basic plant that looks so great in any garden.  There is a Japanese Maple above that fern and this year half the Japanese Maple has died  – opening the area to  more illumination from the sun.  The Japanese painted fern is supposed to do well in shade.  I guess the one I bought needs sun because for the very first time in three seasons I have fronds coming from my fern.  My mother use to say, “where there is death, there is birth.”  I thought of her when taking pics of this fern.  I’m adding a recipe to this phlog and it’s an appropriate recipe.  The first time I saw fiddleheads was in an issue of Martha Stewart a few years back.  Pictured were these beautiful green strange-looking things that had a familiarity to me.  I couldn’t place where I had seen them before and I had no idea where they came from or how to grow them.   Never have I  seen a fiddlehead in the flesh until last weekend.  While shopping at the superstore for a few things I came across a package in the produce department.  They were not cheap – $6.00 for a small package.  I bought them because I was curious and I have to admit Martha’s display still held my curiosity.   I had to do a little research when I got home because I had no idea how to cook fiddleheads. While researching how to cook them I realized why they looked so familiar to me; fiddleheads are the furled fronds of a young fern harvested for use as a vegetable. I see young furled fronds in my garden every spring – I never made the connection because the fiddleheads just looked strange to me.  I grew up in Quebec and fiddleheads are well known in Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes.  Obviously not popular with my family because I never saw them on our dinner table.   Very simple to cook and  delicious.

RECIPE FOR FIDDLEHEADS

Rinse fiddleheads well with cold water.

Boil on a high boil for at least 10 minutes until tender.

Throw into a frying pan preferably cast iron and sauté with butter, garlic, shallots, salt and pepper.

Heat thoroughly and serve – delicious and fiddleheads melt in your mouth.

Fiddleheads contain various vitamins, minerals as well as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.  They are a source of antioxidants, dietary fibre and rich in potassium but on the downside – fiddleheads may harbour microbes so washing and boiling for at least 10 minutes is a must..

 

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