Cat tales………

Wow what a day very productive and adventuress……

I decided I would experiment with the Cat tails (Typha sp.) today seeing as it was sunny and warm as I thought there was the likely hood that I may go for a dip….

And as I thought I ended up wet up to my belly button it was only luck that I didn’t go in the drink completely.

Any way I gingerly entered the calm waters tadpole scattering in every direction, there were so many tadpoles it was amazing it is a wonder my dad can sleep of a night as he lives rite next to the dam and the chorus would be deafening I recon.
I grabbed a hand full of leaves and gave a firm yank, pop it left its roots behind easily and smoothly giving me a false sense of security strait up but after a minute or so I was finding some weren’t so compliant and I really had to heave on some stubborn blighters, hence the wetness……. So not only was I ending up with the clean crown and stem I had roots and shoots to boot, so I ended up with the whole range of edible parts to experiment with (I know it is the wrong season for the roots but they were coming up with the plants anyway so thought I would dry a few just for fun) I intend to harvest a lot of the root in fall for flour next year.

Cattail harvest

The little bright white shoot looked so good I nibbled on one it was tender and sweet but made my throat a bit tickly so I put them aside to cook hoping this would eliminate this pesky reaction. I bundled up my harvest and made my way back to my car leaving little puddles in my wake.

A bit further down the road I harvest more young flower heads and Pollen, I was getting some funny looks from the locals I thought I was going to cause an accident….

Shoots

Flower spikes

 

 

 

 

 

 

I proceeded to peal the young flowers spikes and rub the minute flowers of into a bowl, I left some so they looked like little iddy biddy corns in their sheaths and cooked them to see what they were like that, mmmm they were ok but not my favourite way to eat the flowers, I like them removed from the stem and used in breads, muffins and omelettes. I harvest loads each year and freeze the flowers or make dough for flat bread and freeze in little portions, I can just grab a ball out of the freezer thaw and roll out and chuck in frying pan and wallah instant Cattail flat bread!

Processed hearts

Different flower prep.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I boiled these and the shoots for about 15 minutes in salted water, strained added salt and pepper with a drizzle of olive oil they smelt amazing and tasted like a mix between artichokes and white asparagus, they were so so good but unfortunately they left me with that tickly sensation in the back of my through, I had read that it does this to some people and was hoping I wasn’t one of them, what a shame as they were one of the tastiest wild harvest I have ever had, so please try them don’t be put off by my experience in this case, may people enjoy these as a food they may not do this to you and I envy anyone that can eat these delectable morsels……. Bugga!

Flower spikes cooked

Hearts and shoots cooked

 

 

 

 

 

 

Onto the pollen it took me about 1/2 an hour to get 1/2 a cup so a bit of work not hard work but you need a lot of flowers for this to be worthwhile. I just snipped the heads that looked like they were loaded with bright yellow pollen, gentle as to not lose too much put the head into a big plastic bag hold stem with one hand and close the ends of the plastic bag so no pollen can escape in with the other hand and vigorously shake the stem waking it against my leg. The pollen is crawling with little insects too so you have too strain the pollen several times to get rid of the critters and the spent flowers.

Pollen

Pollen is packed full of protein so you don’t need much I added a teaspoon to an omelette with some flowers and nettle for a quick meal for those busy days like today!….

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