It's officially April. I know this because I was fooled by at least 3 articles, one of which claimed that Monsanto was touting the benefits of the lowly dandelion. Which means that Butter and I are picking a new herb for the Wild Things challenge, and that we can compile a list of all conifer recipes.
I had so much fun playing around with conifers over the last month. Often driving for miles (some fir trees only grow at elevation this far south) to find fir trees.I had a particularly funny experience when I jumped out the car to snip off some fir tips, and a couple on a motorcycle drove by. The man shouted "I like your property!" and I started to shout back "It's not mine" but he was already gone. So I finish harvesting (it was public land, by the way), and carry on driving. They had pulled over at a scenic overlook, and we waved to each other. Then a few miles down the road I saw some pine tips, so I jumped out and started harvesting a few. At which point they drove by again and did a double take. I think of it as so normal to be picking plant bits that I forget sometimes that some people aren't used to it!
Although the tips were fun and delicious, quite a few of us also played around with the regular needles too-namely because most of the country is still in the last days of winter, and there are no tips to be found. I found the conifer flavour to be stronger in the regular needles, but that it wasn't overwhelming, and was quite delicious in savoury dishes.
Thank you to those of you who sent in recipes. And to those of you who were on the fence, or wanted to but forgot, or are still waiting for tips, if you do make something, send it to us anyway, and we'll add it to the list. Next month we've got something easy :).
Without further ado:
Herbalist Darcey Blue made Spruce steamed baby artichokes with Spruce mayonnaise. Be sure to check out her blog-- she's a wealth of information about nutrition and herbalism, and has some fantastic recipes to boot (Bacon mayo? Yes please!).