Went off yesterday picking wild huckleberries with my ex–these are the native variety, tiny tiny tiny (about the size of a large peppercorn), but with excellent flavor. It took a long time to pick enough for a batch of muffins, but we persevered and eventually wound up with almost a pint of berries.
By then we were chilled through from the fog up on the ridge, so we went on down to Half Moon Bay for chai and took a leisurely drive back up the ridge to his place. He just got another Jaguar convertible (which cost him upwards of $10K to restore), but we took one of his more mundane cars, given that it was cold and chilly.
But it reminded me that it is nearly pinon season! The California pinon pine produces big, juicy, wonderful pinon nuts that are nothing like the shriveled-up, dry pine nuts you buy in stores. (Those pine nuts come from China, by the way.) California pinon nuts are sweet and soft, and big–a little bigger than a peanut. Each one comes in a dark brown, brittle shell that’s fun to crack open. They are one of my favorite foods.
But, of course, they aren’t sold. Which brings me to the upcoming road trip. Rob and I have agreed that we need to run down and raid some pinon pines…we may be going down tomorrow to check them out. Unfortunately they’re mostly down in LA area…so it would be a longish road trip–but well worth it.
Picking pinon nuts is a bit of a trick. The pinon pines aren’t prickly, but they are covered in sticky sap–it’s almost impossible to get into them without getting sap all over yourself. Last time I went up one, I had my hair wrapped up in a shower cap, wore long sleeves and gloves, long pants and shoes, and still managed to get sap all over myself. The cones have sap on them too. So…it should be an interesting, and messy, trip.
Still worth it for the pine nuts.
I have been spinning more and knitting more and am starting to get bored with both. I need a new project/craft to explore. Any thoughts? There’s only so much fiber arts one can do in a day.