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.