Thursday, April 26, 2012

Springtime in NH

A few weeks behind NYC, spring in NH is just starting.

I'd read that the flowers of sweet fern (Comptonia peregrina) are edible, not in a substantial way but in a trail nibble way. Maybe I caught them at the wrong stage because I was entirely underwhelmed. Sweet fern flowers are imperfect and the plant is monoecious, meaning flowers are either male OR female, and flowers of both types grow on the same plant (like corn). Maybe I unwittingly grabbed a flower of the wrong sex;t I've found nothing in the literature saying which flower tastes better.

This crop was more to my liking. With Sarah and her family out of town (Galapagos!), I did her a FAVOR (her word, not mine) and harvested from her asparagus patch.

I confess, I ate some raw, it was that good. Asparagus is already my favorite vegetable, but when it's plump and just picked...well it's amazing any of it made it back to the kitchen.

Queen Carnivore scoffs at asparagus. She waits for something with a little more fight.


At April 27, 2012 at 3:21 AM , Anonymous Leda Meredith said...

I got to sample the first asparagus from my garden before I left, and I know what you mean - so good!

At April 27, 2012 at 11:23 AM , Anonymous Mark said...

Yum. Nothing better than permission to ravish the patch! Could Seven show a little more scorn, a little more attitude? There will be asparagus in my next garden. My favorite harvest at the moment is arugula.

At April 27, 2012 at 12:26 PM , Blogger SaraGardens said...

Mmm, arugula... asparagus... YUM.

In Ed Smith's fabulous veg. gardening book, under 'storage' he says, "You've got to be kidding! You don't store asparagus, you eat asparagus... immediately after cooking, or sooner if you count the half-dozen spears munched in the garden." But of course you knew that ;)

I bet the underwhelmingness of the Comptonia flowers had to do with the moment, rather than the sex - but it could also just not be your favorite thing. Do you nibble the nectar-licious flowers of Aquilegia canadensis on your travels? Also just read that the leaves of Viola labradorica can be used to thicken soups - will keep you posted. It's an awesome moment in the shady kitchen garden - out in the sun, too.


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