Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Fiddleheads Again

Springtime is so wonderful for many reasons - we're all tired of gray skies, itching to be outside, and missing fresh vegetables. Fiddleheads, to me, are the embodiment of Spring - something that is only edible when it's fresh and new. Last year I pickled a bunch trying to recreate a taste we'd experienced a few years prior in New Brunswick. It wasn't quite right, but it was close enough.

This year I decided, since I still had some of the pickles, to raw pack and pressure can a bunch of fiddleheads. The idea is that when I want to cook with them, they'd already be mostly cooked so I could just fry them with a little butter and spices (maple pepper works great, by the way) and serve them in a matter of minutes.

It's been a busy week so, even though I bought them 2 days ago, I finally got to them today. After planting about 30 plants in the garden, including starting up the rooftop garden for the year. Sadly, my soaker hose has a gaping hole in it, so I have to fix that before I can set up the "irrigation system," for now I'll just use the sprayer and try to remember to water them often.

So I washed and trimmed a couple of pounds of fiddleheads, and cold packed them into 5 pint jars. I poured boiling water over them* then sealed them up. They're in the pressure canner now at 10 pounds of pressure. I'm guessing here, since the book doesn't have a time for this particular vegetable, that they are more like leafy greens (70 minutes) than green beans (20 minutes). So we'll do 70 minutes and see what happens.

*we've gotten really used to boiling our water lately. Thankfully that's over with.

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