Monday, April 27, 2009

Soylent green

I got all hippie and back-to- the-earth and nature girlish, and decided to gather some wild nettles and make soup.

I learned a few things along the way.

  • One pair of latex gloves is not enough of a barrier to prevent nettle stings.
  • Two pairs of latex gloves are not enough of a barrier to prevent nettle stings.
  • Nettle stings sting like a son-of-a-bitch for more than 24 hours.
  • One pair of rubber kitchen gloves IS enough to prevent nettle stings.

Here they are, mostly de-bugged and washed. (SHUT UP! You eat bugs all the time.)
After making a huge mess in in the kitchen, (because i always make a huge mess when there is a blender involved, because there are always unfortunate blender events, which is why i drink my margaritas on the rocks and thank god my kitchen is already green,) soup was achieved.

Well, it is pretty. In a super-foods-i'm-eating-algae sort of way.

It tasted like......weeds. Like a freshly mown lawn. It wasn't bad, just kind of boring and grassy. I used garlic and onions and even a potato, so i was puzzled by the lack of taste interest.

So what did i do? I went and gathered more nettles yesterday and this time i am going to try them sauteed.

Free food is free food people!


Marshamlow said...

You are insane. I guess cooking takes the sting out of nettles? Would not be fun to have them sting all the way through the digestive track. I knelt in something that stung my legs and gave me a rash the other day, not sure what it was though. Hope the sauted nettles are a hit.

Daisy said...

Wrap your latex gloves in dock leaves as a preventive measure (or just keep dock leaves handy to soothe the sting)

Or maybe just go for dandelion greens instead?

Or fiddlehead ferns?

Or asparagus?

Magpie said...

LOL - I wrote about cooking weeds last year, but I didn't have the guts to actually do it. Maybe this year...


Bob said...

you're supposed to smoke weed, not eat it. surely you remember that? no stings involved (except those of the legal variety).

Gina said...

I'm with Bob - I think I'd rather smoke it than eat it.

Anonymous said...

I'll take one of those margaritas.

Anonymous said...

PS. if you really want to know, I can ask my sister about this. She is all hippie and back-to- the-earth and nature girlish 24/7 and definitely knows her way around cooking free food.

furiousBall said...

i hear peeing on nettle stings stops the burn, i learned this from Friends. I believe everything i see or hear

Anonymous said...

I have an acquaintance who used to make dandelion wine and fried dandelion greens, but I'm not sure about nettle soup. hmm...yeah, I think I'd rather hear about yours than actually try it myself.

The Real Mother Hen said...

Oh you got me interested now. I like stuff that is blend and boring, I haven't tried nettles, so I'm going to look for them now.

What about adding a can of tomato stew? :)

meno said...

marsha, believe it or not, some farmer's markets actually SELL nettles.

daisy, i don't know dock leaves from adam, sadly.

magpie, i read that! i'm going to be taking an edible plants class at the end of May. maybe i'll learn about something tasty.

bob, OOOHHH! *smacks forehead* I wish i had known!

gina, i wonder what smoking nettles would be like.

de, that would have been much smarter. :)

furious, i didn't think of that. i wonder why.

holly, with a name like holly, i think you'd be a bit more willing to try weeds! :)

mother hen, have fun. wear thick gloves. let me know what you discover.

Brad said...

Natural cure for stinging nettle stings: take a fern frond and rub the seed/pollen pods on the back of the frond on the sting - I tell you it works!

Isn't nettle soup what the made during the depression and in Germany in WW2? If I remember corectly it was to get some vitamin C in their systems.

Where does Bob live? I think we should go visit.

Scott from Oregon said...

As Kermit once sang... "It's not easy eating greens..."


What's wrong with spinach?

Mrs4444 said...

You're so funny, Meno!

QT said...

Heh. I think there is a recipe on my blog from last year. It is supposed to be good for your blood. I put croutons in mine.

Also, if you pick younger shoots you will have less "sting" to contend with.

Anonymous said...

Do you have too much time on your hands? I could use some help painting. Just saying.

fiwa said...

I love a challenge...but... I think I would say screw it and go have a margarita at a restaurant. Sounds a whole lot easier. ;)

So um, how come if they can sting you they're still ok to eat? Seems like there must be some poison in them?

Cheesy said...

Try adding dry sherry,
Greek yogurt,
baby spinach, and/or
garlic greens or scallions and make it with broth if you used water.... Just some suggestions!

meno said...

brad, thanks for that info. Bob is, i believe, in Georgia. Still want to go?

scott, i was just curious. I love spinach.

mrs. 4444, i'm glad i amuse you. but looks aren't everything. :)

qt, i'll have to go look for that. I did go for the young 'ums.

deb, i was hunting and gathering! That's WAYYY more important than painting.

fiwa, yes, cooking removes the sting. I heard they were delicious and good for you.

cheesy, i did use broth, but thanks for the suggestions, i bet sherry would be good.

SUEB0B said...

I hate nettles so much that I would never want to get them close to my face in any way, shape or form.

I may want to practice my flamethrowing skills on them, though.

flutter said...

wait, where is the bacon?

she of compulsive name changing said...

I just murdered my bender yesterday. Apparently its a good idea to remove rocks when pureeing mother nature. Go figure.

alphawoman said...

Don't they (old timey remedies) nettles for arthritis (my spelling is terrible!)

Clowncar said...

What's a nettle?

And why would you consider eating one?

Helpful hint: double cheesy beef burritos at taco bell for 89 cents.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I went through a Native American healer period which my children have never let me forget, and prided myself on being able to find food in the wild. Not only are nettles medieval torture, they usually grow among poison ivy for good measure.

I no longer steal flowers at midnight from other people's back yards either.

colleen said...

It's so good for you! They sting less when you pick them while very young plants, although you still need gloves. Here's mine:

Lamb's Quarters are next. They taste like spinach. I agree that Nettles don't taste that great.

lu said...

I just like the idea of saying we are having nettles for supper.
better than viddles or kibbles.

egan said...

Somebody beat me to the insane declaration. Hey, free food it is and you've got an abundant source outside your house. I ate some foraged greens last weekend and they were damn good. I guess "foraged" anything is all the rage these days. Foraged nettle soup it is.

luckyzmom said...

Spinach is good. The nettle soup is a lovely color.

sari said...

I'm with Marsha (and forgive me, I didn't read all the other comments) but the cooking must take out the stings? hmmm...

Dick said...

It sounds wonderful. I think I liked our pizza for lunch today from Round Table Pizza better, though.