Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Wild Food: Miner's Lettuce, Fiddleheads and Cattail Shoots

First a couple of photos of our earthwalk (Tali's and my weekly trek out to pick up Rhiannon from preschool). We noted that the skunk cabbage, now at the tail-end of it's bloom, is shooting its leaves up -- look how tall!

And Tal became one with the moss, growing a green beard in his glory...

Wild Green Omelet
OK -- not totally wild; the eggs were farmed and the milk was store-bought... but we rejoiced, anyway! As you may have read on our other blog, our ducks recently started laying! What better reason for an omelet?!
We just gathered what we found on the way home from preschool, today, which happened to be the following:

  • Siberian Miner's Lettuce leaves and buds -- this is just before they bloom, so the leaves are still rich, dark and juicy. They have a very distinct taste, somewhat similar to spinach (and many of the same vitamins as spinach, I believe). One of our May Day traditions is to pick a heap (with lots of flowers) and eat a big salad of it for Beltane dinner.
  • Lady Fern Fiddleheads -- just in time! They're nearly all open! We just take a few at a time; something in my vague memory tells me that fiddleheads are not healthy if eaten in large quantities, so we don't. I'm really going to have to research that one!
  • Cattail Shoots -- yummy, soft and starchy, they're also really beautiful in cross-section! They're just beginning here in the pond. We also harvested some roots to make cattail flour but then, as wild-fooding with kids goes... we lost them somewhere between the pond and home. Oops.
Stir-fried the fiddleheads and chopped cattail shoots a little, then added miners lettuce, and duck-eggs with a bit of milk and a dash of salt. Duck eggs are much more viscous than chicken eggs; they make a much denser omelet. But yum!


  1. He has the most gentlest, old soul eyes. What a cutie!

  2. I'm really behind in my emails but a quick response while I'm here, I have this idea that we'll come visit you guys and camp out on your lawn sometime after the baby's born, good idea?

    For some reason there's no miner's lettuce in the part of our yard where it's been so abundant the previous couple of years, wonder why. Never tried cat tail shoots, how cool!

    Happy spring time~!

    And thank you for your beautiful email.


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