"Tenderly you stroke a Nettle, and it stings you for your pains. Grasp it like a man of mettle, and it soft as silk remains." Traditional Verse
I guess reading Omnivores' Dilemma has me inspired. In one of my neighborhood walks I had passed a lush swath of nettles.
Common sense has always told me to wear gloves when picking nettles. I have heard that if you just dive in and grab and tear the nettles you won't be stung (which is what my opening traditional verse suggests) but I am not convinced.
That said, here you see my ungloved hand touching a nettle leaf. The trick is to stay clear of the serrated leaf edges. I did wear gloves when I began harvesting the tender plant tips. Today's chilly weather with its mix of icy rain and snow was added incentive to wear gloves. You must get the young nettles before they flower. It is 'stoop labor' and my back feels it tonight.
Recalling a tasty soup I made many years ago, I went searching online for something similar and found this recipe.
Since the recipe is from the U.K. a couple terms were unfamiliar to me. What is a '1/2 carrier bag' of nettles? A 2/3 full Target bag is what I picked. Once snipped from stems and washed they filled a 2 quart bowl to overflowing:
And as to how it all turned out...I will let you know tomorrow. Heavy cream, that's not something I keep on hand! The final ingredient is 2 tablespoons of cream.