Yesterday my friend M. and I returned to the little woodland glade to harvest more nettles. They had grown so much in the the two weeks since we were last there, you couldn’t tell we had cut any nettles at all. This time we were prepared with offerings of corn meal, and we spent some time giving reiki energy to the glade and the plants. I don’t suppose the glade had any need of us, but it seemed an appropriate way to give a bit of loving energy to the place that is offering us so much nourishment.
This time I put up a quart of nettles in olive oil. I’m going to try a cold infusion, which I think I’ll make an experimental salve and lotion with. I’m not 100% sure why–I’m just sort of playing at this point, listening to the intuitive nudges. We’ll see what comes of it.
I stripped the leaves from the nettles I hung to dry two weeks ago, which were nicely crisp, and then I crushed them a little bit and put them in a clean dry jar. They have the most wonderful rich green color, amazing! Then I hung the new haul of nettles up to dry, and filled a few wide shallow baskets with the bits that were too small to hang.
Our nettle meal was a twist on what we did before. We used M.’s wonderful canned squash again, but this time we used the liquid to cook up a bunch of brown rice. Then we sauteed an onion and some garlic in olive oil, added the squash cubes and some slices of amazing organic chicken and mango sausages, and sprinkled on a bit of nutmeg, salt and pepper. We layered brown rice, nettles, the squash/sausage/onion mix, and some Tillamook cheddar cheese, then baked the whole thing in the oven until it was hot through, the nettles were fully wilted, and the cheese was melted and a little bit golden brown on the very top. It was SO yummy, we ate almost the entire (very full) 13 by 9″ pan (with the help of the hubster, who was hungry and loves cheese.)
For a long time I didn’t really want to work with nettles. For one thing, they sting. I am not a very patient person, and was reluctant to work with a plant that demanded so much sharp focus. This is, of course, very likely a sign that something like stinging nettle is exactly what I do need to work with. It’s probably good for me to be forced to pay very close attention to something for a while. Besides which, they really are one of the prime health building wild plants, full of important minerals, etc. So I’ve given in, because I don’t think one should argue with nettle. I’m sure my body will be thanking me for it for a long time to come.