Unhelpful Recipes: What the Heck is a Fiddlehead?

This post is part of the ECM Fiddlehead Bloggers Hop! Be sure to check out the other fab posts on Fiddleheads from some other local bloggers.

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Until I moved to Atlantic Canada, I had never heard tell of a Fiddlehead – with the exception, of course, of the genuine article that’s found at the top of a violin. Typical Ontarian, eh? That first spring of my residence in New Brunswick, I began to see them around the Farmer’s Market and at the grocery store. Curious, I began to probe…

For those of you who have also been in the dark on this weird and delicious springtime green, a Fiddlehead is actually a type of fern. They’re only delicious while they’re young and curled so the window of the season is quite short. Sometimes you can spot them in the forest – but definitely wait until you get home to properly clean and cook them before eating.

Personally, I was taught all this great info within seconds of asking “What the heck is a fiddlehead?!” It seems my Maritime friends were eager to share in the secret delicacy. What I didn’t expect was to open up a great debate on the best way to devour these delicious green morsels. I’ve discovered that there are two schools of thought on the matter: Team “Butter is Better” vs Team “Tart and Tangy.”

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Edit: This picture is NOT an example of the genuine fiddleheads that are safe to eat. True fiddleheads are covered in a brown paperlike coating and are never fuzzy even as they grow. Shoutout to reader Rhonda for the wisdom that only a Maritimer would know!

Since, as you well know, I’m not really here to be of any help to any of you in this arena, I’ll just give you the two unhelpful recipes and let you make up your own minds.

Team Butter is Better

  1. Thoroughly rinse and drain fiddleheads. You’ll want to make sure you pull off the brown/white papery sheath to reveal just a fresh, green curl.
  2. Steam in vegetable steamer or over shallow boiling water.
  3. Toss with copious amounts of butter.
  4. Serve.

Team Tart and Tangy

  1. See above.
  2. See above.
  3. Drip on a vinegar of your choice. Personally, I like a nice balsamic but cider vinegar also works well in this context. But I’m not your mother. Use whatever vinegar you want.
  4. Serve.

I have to admit it: Fiddleheads are delicious either way (and many other, more complicated ways) but I’m definitely team Butter is Better. Butter forever! Butter for all! You might even want to add a wee sprinkle of parmesan, if you’re so inclined.

If you don’t like either suggestions, that’s fine too. As I mentioned at the top of this post, I’m participating in the ECM blog hop, providing links to some other amazing local bloggers who will probably have much more detailed and helpful guides on how to prepare these curly tendrils. But we both know that’s not going to happen here on this blog.

Happy fiddleheading!

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Mindful Water Use on #WorldWaterDay

It’s World Water Day! So, what’s the big deal?

Well, access to clean water is something that many of us take for granted. Unfortunately, for so many others that simply isn’t the reality. You may be surprised to know that even in Canada, a country filled with lakes and fresh waterways, there are still communities who live with long-term boil advisories for drinking or bathing or brushing their teeth.

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So, what can we do?

Well, like with any issue of this size and scope, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the daunting task of solving the problem alone. Fortunately, we can share the burden together.

5 Mindful Ways for Water Consumption

  1. Shower shorter.
  2. A reusable water bottle is your new best friend.
  3. Keep a pitcher of cold water in the fridge and ice cubes in the freezer. It will save you from running the tap to get it to the right temperature.
  4. Run your washing machine and dishwasher only when full.
  5. Share! Rather than dumping that extra gulp left in the pitcher, pour it into a pet’s dish or onto a houseplant.

Bonus: Never, ever, EVER buy bottled water. If you live in a community where clean drinking water is available, then you really shouldn’t be supporting water privatization by purchasing water from a company. It’s unsustainable, expensive, wasteful, and, in extreme cases, entirely stolen away from non-western communities.

Thirsty for more?

One of the best ways to embrace and enforce change is to stay informed. Here’s some reading to get you started.

Statistics Canada’s water study should spark federal action to protect water

36 eye-opening facts about water

Take back our water: How Trump’s appetite for privatization threatens your drinking water

How are you saving water this #WorldWaterDay?

A Love Letter to the Creative Souls

Dear Creative Souls,

Thank you for hosting and organizing and contributing to an amazing event. Being able to travel to Port Hood Cape Breton last month to attend my first Creative Soul Weekend was a definite highlight for me.

I loved being greeted with hugs, wine, food, flowers and even a delightful welcome gift – personalized just for me!

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You couldn’t have chosen a more perfect location. The sea breeze and hot sun complemented both the outdoor and indoor activities, and brought a lovely sense of closure to the end of the summer.

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The views and vistas inspired conversation and creation. I loved being silly by the seashore.

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Accommodating our different personalities and talents fostered an environment in which we were free to stray from the instructions. You know I hate being told what to do – even if that means accidentally painting something that looks like a big…you know…

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We got to play scientist and play artist and play fashion designer. And then we learned that we actually are all those things. (Some of us more than others. Okay, okay. Everyone more than me. lol)

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Contributing to a group endeavour – even one as inconsequential as a drawing – opened a window into the minds of other creatives. Solo projects are fun but magic happens when many minds come together to create.

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Sometimes it’s easy to forget what is sparked when we experience something different and new. I appreciated the reminder and the gift of the art that lasted beyond the weekend.

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You are the artists, the story tellers, the music makers, the pun slingers, the photo takers, and the joy bringers.

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I can’t wait to see what we create together next year.

(Creative Soul Weekend is the brainchild of Leah Noble and Emily Rankin. If you ever have the opportunity to attend such an inspiring and wonderful event, I can’t encourage you more.)

Krista