Friday, March 14

the putrid smell that arose

I arrived home from work yesterday evening and Suzie (who is visiting until next Wednesday) was busy with supper preparations. Reheating black bean soup, cooling the oven fresh corn bread, and keeping a close eye on a mystery substance under the lid of the skillet. As she raised the lid, a billow of steam along with a wreaking smell arose from the skillet and filled the kitchen. What is that? Evidently Suzie had discovered some stinging nettles growing along the bluff.

I had been hearing that new nettle leaves were a good additive to a meal, low calorie, high nutritional value, but I had no intentions of harvesting them and eating them. Mainly because I've had my run-ins with the stinging nettle before. And every time I had lost the futile battle. Fleeing with small, burning lumps on hands, legs, or buttocks (hazard of peeing in the woods).

But deep in my adventurous spirit, I knew I would try the furry little leaves, even though they did smell horribly inedible. Surprisingly, I liked them. They were a good addition to the meal.

After dinner I looked up the facts about stinging nettles from two sources : The Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening and Herbal Medicine by Diane Dinsin Buchman.
  • According to old herbalists - nettles are an effective weight reducer, nettle water is said to be good hair tonic and cologne supplement (I cannot imagine the smell of that cologne)
  • Medicinally - anti asthmatic, used in treatment for consumption and rheumatism, the seeds counteract venomous bites, cleansing cure-all for stomach, lungs, and intestines, used as a blood cleanser
  • Today wild food enthusiasts believe - boiled or steamed nettles make a tasty vegie, light and low in calories

So maybe I'll be adding nettles to my weekly diet. Who knows. I guess I'd have to put up with the putrid smell of the boiling leaves. No t looking forward to that!


Mom said...

You had mentioned nettles as a possible food when I talked to you awhile back, but I didn't imagine you eating them! It sounds like they are good for just about anything! You may become the healthiest we've ever seen you with all these organic foods, sea creatures, and wild plants! Can't wait to hear what's next!

Raleigh said...

man. that's crazy. can't say i'm dying to try stinging nettle leaves...