Laura and I went to the fiddlehead pasture today. Fiddleheads were plentiful. Nettles were sparse. I made Tongass Pesto last in 2017 and we are on the last bag of it from the freezer, so I needed some nettles to go with equal volumes of fiddleheads and devils club buds to make more. I need to look around for another nettles honey hole.
A nice day to be up the hillside in the high country. The fiddleheads at sea level are largely passed picking, but up in our pasture they were fine. We also saw the whole top of the hillside giveway in an avalanche, which made us look up the chute we were in to be sure we weren’t in danger.
I brought the book by Janice Schofield’s book of Alaska plants back from the cabin after I “discovered” it there a few weeks ago. When I looked around the chute we were in, I realized there really aren’t that many species of greens coming up in the plant community there. One plant I noted that was growing all over the place and identified from the book was False Hellebore, which is poisonous. Good to know. Lots of twisted stalk coming up, too, which Chef John Cox and Hanni introduced me to many years ago, but I don’t know if there’s a way to preserve it, so I just snacked on some of it fresh, but didn’t collect any.
Only one or two other green plants coming up I need to learn and then I’ll know about all of them on the slope.
When I got home, it was time to clean the fiddleheads. Normally, I put them in a pillow case and put in the in clothes dryer on air fluff. This time, I thought I’d try it in a little backpack that had a zipper that I thought would be a nice convenient closure for doing batches of fiddleheads, instead of tying off a pillow case. It worked great until the last batch. I put a little rock in the outer pocket of the pack to see if it helped clean the fiddleheads. Not sure if that made the difference, but the zipper on the main compartment opened, and I had fiddleheads and chafe all over the inside of the dryer. I put the fiddleheads back in the backpack and removed it from the dryer, cleaned out the chafe as best I could, then pulled out the lint screen and turned the dryer back on. The chafe was sucked out the dryer vent in short order, cleaning out the dryer, and I put the lint screen back in. Problem solved.