glassine badminton

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At the market yesterday, I saw a bag of nettles, with a note saying that they'd been "wildcrafted" that morning. I'd seen nettles there a few other times in the past week, and asked a few people about them. "You can't get much out of a bag that size, but people who like them swear by them. I think they taste like spinach, myself," was the typical reaction I got. So I decided: what the hell! Tonight--tonight we will feast on nettles.

I followed Euell Gibbons' instructions for cooking them (I trusted them, remembering the copy of his book Stalking the Wild Asparagus on my parents' bookshelf when I was younger). You put the young nettle tops in a big vat of water and swish them around with a spoon to clean them; then you use tongs to put them in a pan with a lid, with no more water than what's already clinging to the EVIL VENOMOUS STINGING PARTS, and let them steam in their own juices for about 20 minutes. At which point they're edible, or, to quote Gibbons, "A more wholesome vegetable never came to the table. Cooking completely destroys the nettles' stinging properties, and actually converts the venom into wholesome food."

Dubious, I thought, but they actually were very good with butter and a touch of tamari--they had a sort of artichoke-like overtone, more than spinach, I think. Even though, while they were cooking, a little fake Ogden Nash couplet came to my head: "Perhaps you wish your tummy'd settle?/It could be that you've et a nettle." Also made a leek-and-potato curry that came out well enough that I'm likely to try it again.

Got my tickets for Coachella today. There will be much traveling over the next few months. And about time, too--I've explored my couch about as thoroughly as it can be explored.

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This page contains a single entry by Douglas published on March 24, 2004 7:43 PM.

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