Saturday, May 19, 2007

Stinging Nettles and the GCHS Brush with Fame

I was surfing the 'net this morning and came across
this cute article about a (Stinging) Nettles Day
celebration in Devon England:

In the story was a link to this very nicely done page
that you could call an "on-line herb study" of nettles:

It ALMOST makes me wish I had a boatload of nettles
growing in my yard, but... maybe that statement IS
going a bit too far. I had a minor brush with a stinging
nettle (I immediately understood what it was) while
weeding a few years back.
While doing my usual bare-handed weed-pulling I
naively grabbed a single nettle plant and
I still recall the instant recognition of something I'd
only, until that moment, read about in books.
The seed had probably been brought in with a bag of
composted manure since the plant is not common in
my immediate neighborhood.
After reading these websites on the nettle I'm suddenly
interested in nettles, one sign of a true herbie.
I could probably put out the word and find a
gardening friend who would be willing to part with
some nettles... probably if I did her weeding.

You say nettles don't float your boat? and what did the
title of this message mean, the Genesee County Herb
Society's mysterious "brush with fame"?
Well, a few days ago on another surfing expedition,
I ran across a cooking blogger who listed
"the ten strangest cookbooks on his cookbook shelf",
and our GCHS "Herbal Favorites" was number 8!

The writer of
LunaPierCook (link)
explained our selection:
it was the Nettle Soup recipe (as well as the highly
herbed Lavender Ice Cream recipe) that did
us in. But at least for a strange cookbook list, we
were in good company, along with Dixie Dave and Anthony Bourdain.


LunaPierCook said...

Here's a corrected link to the list of my Ten Strangest Cookbooks. That's fine, though, as I have those problems happen to myself more often than I like to admit.

No, I'm sorry, Herbal Favorites from GCHS didn't make the list of my Ten Favorite Cookbooks! To be quite honest, I've never made anything from that book. If memory serves, Barb (on the committee listed inside the book) gave me the book when it was originally published, and that simple fact means I'll hang onto it forever. A lot of "fundraiser" cookbooks have made their way throug my collection of the years, but this one is one of the few that have stayed put. Looking through it again since you've mentioned it today, I see a lot of things I probably should try, particularly the Chilled Strawberry Soup right there on page 1. And the Elderberry Pie on page 58 makes me again wonder what an elderberry tastes like! So, maybe I'll make that, then gravitate to the Elderberry Chutney on page 91 ... and put that chutney on the Elderflower Waffles from page 50 ...

BTW, being from Grand Blanc myself, it's great to see such a nice food-related blog coming from there. I'll be putting a link to your blog from my own LunaPierCook blog.

Have a great afternoon!

Betsy, weeding at... said...

Hi Luna Pier Cook,
Great comments, Thanks for responding to the story. I've worked on the link, it just takes me a while to get some of this stuff right.
You have a nice food blog, and I hope to spend some rainy days reading there. I'm interested in local food, local gardening, local writing, and the blogging world making connections easier and more relevant every day.
The cookbook is getting a tad dated but we sold a lot of them when the subject of herbs was not such a popular thing.
I admit I don't use many of the recipes, but the basics in the cookbook are a good reference. For some recommendations, the Chicken Basil Salad is tasty, although I add sliced green grapes instead of the apple. The Lemon Tea Bread made with fresh lemony herbs always impresses, and for open house season, the Rosemary Punch for a Bunch is a crowd pleaser.