The fiddlehead fern season is about 10 minutes long. Pete and I had chatted about them a few times. He’d cooked them in restaurants a zillion times. I’d never even seen them. In any case, on a more or less annual basis, I’d see an article about how the fiddlehead season was over. I’d twist my mustache, shake my tiny fist at the sky and mumble about next year. Monday, I was in the grocery store, staring at the greens and when I pushed aside a few things, there they were! No price posted. No one nearby. I grabbed a bag and started picking out the firmer ones, just sort of guessing what would be good or bad about the things. A young produce guy appeared next to me – WHOOOOOOSH! – asking if he could be of help. I looked around for a cloud of smoke. NEVER in the thirty years I’ve been shopping there has a produce guy asked if I needed anything. I said I’d like a price, holding up the bag. He said, “Sure.” He looked at the bag. “What are they?” He went to the computer and came back with, “They’re not in there, but they’re like $4.99/lb.” He totally made up a price! At the checkout, the cashier was really curious about them and made me promise to come back and tell her how they turned out. No price turned up in her lists, either, so she accepted the $4.99/lb. guess. Siobhan found them online yesterday for $10/lb., so it may be completely beside the point that parboiled, butter sauteed fiddleheads have a consistency between roasted asparagus and steamed broccoli, and a flavor in the same range. But seriously, now that I’ve tried them, I’m glad we’re growing our own spinach.