Frugal fail: the nettle episode

I like the beginning of a month. First of all: all money is in, possibilities are lurking. Strangely enough, this motivates me more to be frugal than when money is tight at the end of a month.

One thing I’ve always wanted to try, was to use nettle in the kitchen. As it is still rather early in spring, my husband has not yet completely taken over the garden and dug out all the weeds, so I had spotted some fresh, young, tasty looking species. Hurray!


Once picked (wearing gloves, of course), I rinced them in luke-warm water, thinking most of the sting would be out of it. No, it was not. Luckily, I remembered that vinegar helps with the itching. Learned that the hard way when I was a kid, lol.

I completely forgot about the nettles in the colander, focusing on making a delicious red dahl with rice (recipe to be found here, for those who understand Dutch or just want to be tempted by the gorgeous photography). The dahl was only a success for me. Little Boy had a taste, decided he liked it but started to beg for chocolate eggs. Meal time turned into a mess and when he tasted again thirty minutes later, he spitted it out. Husband, I already knew, would eat it politely and then decide to ditch the rest of his plate once he decided to have swallowed enough healthiness. Oh well, the more for me for lunch tomorrow.

A few hours later I remembered the nettles. Doing a quick search on the web, I let them sit, once more, for ten minutes in warm water (really warm this time), and then blanched them for a few minutes in boiling water. Smelt like fish?! Hmm.

I drained and cooled the green leaves, and got only a cubic inch of it left. Uh-oh. Then had a taste. More uh-oh. Frankly, it didn’t taste like anything. I had the feeling I could run out, repeat the process with any green leaf in my garden (let’s say our hedge, or the camelia plant my mother gaves of for Easter). Subtle taste? Try bland. Try grass. Try “I’m playing in my mud kitchen, want some?“.

So I chopped the whole bunch (oh yeah), and mixed it with a few spoons of cream cheese, to which I added lots of pureed garlic, pepper and salt.  Looks good. Tastes like garlic. Maybe I’ll fill a few little onions with it tomorrow. Or just put it on a cracker. Remembering it must be very healthy. Glad I didn’t go for nettle soup.


But it’s weekend and my husband will be home and gardening.
I’m quite sure there won’t be a nettle left.

Author: Elvira

Woman, wife, mother. Trying to slow down and take the time to listen.

3 thoughts on “Frugal fail: the nettle episode”

  1. i’ve always wanted to give them a chance but husband doesn’t want to try them… a while ago i read about a nettle soup recipe and i guess i should try. did you try dandelions for salads?

  2. I did, but I find them quite bitter. I think they should go in a salad with a lot of sweeter stuff in it (raisins, apple or pear,…)

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