Fiddlehead Picking with my Father
This time of year always brings back memories of going down along the river to Dad’s special, “secret” spot to pick fiddleheads. We would go after he got done work for the day. One of the things I remember most is that the black flies would just about carry me away. He always claimed he wasn’t bothered by the black flies, and it was “mind over matter.” I didn’t quite agree but loved this special time with him enough to push through being chewed . He would take his packbasket along, and we weren’t done picking until it was filled to the brim.
After we arrived home, my Mom and Dad would make an evening of it, cleaning the fiddleheads, blanching them quickly in boiling water, and then packaging them up to freeze for dinners when they were no longer in season. Usually, they would leave just enough out for dinner for the next evening. And if Dad or one of my brothers had caught a fresh trout to go along with them, this Spring dinner was just about perfect.
When my dad passed away several years ago, my mom asked if there was anything of his I might like to have. I chose his packbasket, his fishing creel, and his old dinged silver flask. Spring necessities!
It used to be that I would only eat fiddleheads with lots of vinegar and salt. Now, I just love them lightly steamed with some real butter and salt and pepper! And I follow Fiddleheads on Facebook to keep track of when and where they are ready to pick!
Special Spring memories….what are yours?