Playing around with spruce tips is really fun. They taste so good that I have a 'one for you, one for me' thing going on with whatever I am doing. And then my breath smells like pine forest for hours afterwards. Not only that, but these might be some of my favourite things to gather ever. It puts me in an almost meditative state, wandering around plucking the bright green bits off the trees-- I think your eyes have to adjust slightly to take in all the colours, and when you do that for a couple of hours, I swear I'm in a different head space by the time I get back to my car.
So far I haven't found any fir tips for this month's Wild Things round up. The only area I know of that has a bunch of fir trees is closed because of the Station Fire that hit LA 2 years ago. So I'm working my way back through all my hiking books to see if there's any mention of douglas or white fir anywhere nearby. Or not nearby. I'll drive.
But the pine and spruce tips are in profusion-- you can see them driving down the street in Beverly Hills, waving from peoples' front yards like bright little taunting things saying "TRESPASS HERE! EAT ME!". Of course I, being of superior moral character, do nothing of the sort, and drive up into the mountains where I can pinch as many as I want without fear of somebody seeing me from their front window and shouting *ahem* not that I know anything about this *ahem*.
Anyway, these tips are surprisingly versatile, and I've been playing around a lot. Here's my current favourite, and it's so simple it doesn't even really need a recipe:
Spruce tip goat cheese balls.
1 packet goat cheese
1/2 cup spruce tips, chopped finely
Mash the goat cheese and half of the spruce tips together until well mixed. Then, take a chunk of the goat cheese and, with clean hands, roll it between your hands until if forms a ball. Then, roll it around in the remaining spruce tips until it's covered. Repeat until you're out of cheese. Serve with, well whatever you want-- my favourite is toast and butter, but then, that's always my favourite :).