Oh Firtips, how you make my spring so much better. Like lawn daisies, they can used in salads, or as a spice in soups and scrambles.
But most importantly they can be made into a delicious old scandahuvian-style syrup for pancakes, glazings and salad dressings. Pick about five cups of green, just bursting forth tips, cover with water and simmer for about three hours. When you have about two, or three cups worth of liquid add at least a 1 1/2 cups of sugar (you can ad up to 2.5 cups) and simmer, while stirring periodically for another hour or so, until you have a thick brown liquid. Strain out the tips and let it cool and then bottle. You can also you honey, but don't waste unpasteurized on this since you'll be heating it up.
I imagine these guys would also be great infused into vinegar for dressings and such.
Please be mindful when you gather them and move from branch to branch. They are the new growths of the tree and she needs them too. Don't over harvest one area. I like to nibble on them as I walk the woods. A little snack from the the forest.
disclaimer: If you're planning to poison yourself by eating the wrong stuff, I'll be so sad, but I won't be held accountable. Okay? Good. You're a grown-up. Whee!