Most folks wait for their tulips or day lilies to pop up in the spring. This lady, I wait for the nettles. Yes those pesky persnickety bothersome plants that light up your short wearing summer legs like a California wild fire...those nettles.
Thankfully my love affair with Urtica Dioica didn't occur from a short short/ dense wood experience. Instead the plant whose latin genus name means "to burn" stole my heart through a simple cup of tea.
6 years ago I participated in a wild foods gathering in western Minnesota. Huddled around a campfire in early May a handful of budding foragers old and young developed friendships as warm cups of honey sweetened stinging nettle tea were distributed. Perhaps it was the teas delicioiusness or maybe it was the group comradery of sharing stories and drink among new friends. Either way the nettles got to me and the rest as they say...blog names, business, tattoo...is history.
As always enjoy and if your worried about getting stung see below.
Stinging Nettle Tea
makes 1.5 cups
CAUTION: For those of you concerned about the "burn," yes nettles sting. Personally, I don't wear gloves. Some might call me crazy but my thought is you just need to know how to pick the little dandies. Harvesting without gloves is like letting the nettles tell you "Excuse me! That will be enough!" And not to worry, conveniently the nettle plant has it's own antihistamine pumping through its stem. Squirt out some of the stem juice apply to wherever you were stung and presto sting-be-gone. No gloves necessary indeed!
- 5-6 baby stinging nettle stalks
- 1 1/2 cups of water
- spoonful of local non-parturized honey
1. Boil your water.
2. Place your stinging nettles in a cup and pour over boiling water. Allow to steep for 5-7 minutes.
3. Remove the nettles or leave them in your cup. Add a dollop of honey and enjoy.