Grasp the Nettle


frosted nettle.jpg
Grasp the Nettle= means to face up to or take on a problem that has been ignored or deferred

At first light on Sunday morning I'm sitting in a patch of frosty nettles watching Jens running across the backyard to find me. He's in his footy pajamas with bright blue puddle-jumper boots and wearing a huge red sweatshirt that hangs a foot beyond his hands and down to his knees. He has just turned five and is up early to ride the bike he got for his birthday the night before. In the chill of the morning he rides and I run up and down the driveway.

That is the image of my life I want imprinted in my mind forever...

The reason I was sitting in the nettles on Sunday morning is that Audrey (Moonstone Farms) introduced me (and Alma) to a new world of local foods on Saturday. I joined a group of folks to take her class "Grasp the Nettle" on eating native foods that grow all around us. This was another of those eye and world-opening experiences. We walked her farm and grove picking and eating all kinds of spring greens.

Then we prepared those greens into one of the finest meals I've ever had...
Nettle pasta with basil pesto (out of this world delicious!)
Steamed, buttered nettles with wine vinegar
Spezzati- spring onions, dandelion greens, Virginia Waterleaf and eggs
Ham and dandelion greens
Dandelion flower fritters
Burdock root sauted and mixed with wild rice and hazelnuts
Apple leather and dried elderberries

All that food grows around our farmstead without having to plant, weed, or water it. And it's free for the taking.

So we had nettles and eggs for breakfast and I even harvested enough to freeze some for next winter. Here's Jens eating the nettles- the thumb is pointed up, but his face says something different.

grasping the nettle.JPG


Forgot to mention that I still have that book that Carolyn and I found a few years ago..."Abundantly Wild"-"Collecting and Cooking Wild Edibles in the Upper Midwest" by Teresa Marrone. I'll bring it with me the next time I come out there. I should go down to the stream and see what's growing down there..think it's garlic mustard...did they mention that?..probably isn't edible.
Can't wait to see the boys learning to ride bike. Have a good week! Love, mama

jens pic made me chuckle!

Well, well, Now the rotten nettle that makes you swell up and itchs is good to eat. I will never starve, for we have at least enough to supple the county of Dodge. So sista come on over and pick all you want. Jens and Lake be careful when Dad helps you riding the bike.Ask counsin Trixie what happened to her. (She is still sporting a scare on her knee.)Complements of your Dad.

Good grief! My child won't eat oatmeal much less nettles. You have brave children Kathy!

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This page contains a single entry by Kathryn Draeger published on May 4, 2009 4:17 AM.

Fruition... was the previous entry in this blog.

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