Skull 790 xxx
iphotos by gluttonforlife

4.28.11 Deer Hunter

In my quest for wild edibles, I dredged up a distant memory of my friend Julia telling me about a morel she had once found at her weekend place nearby. So I headed over there, still dreaming of a big score. Her house has been closed up all winter long and as I drove up a big, fat groundhog scurried across the lawn. She has a beautiful piece of land that slopes down to a brook, now swollen from all the rains. Plenty of skunk cabbage along the bank, a favorite snack for bears. No sign of morels, sadly, though I did find a nice patch of stinging nettles. They must be picked and handled with care—heavy gloves do the trick—as the stems and undersides of the lovely, heart-shaped leaves are covered with fine spines that release irritating formic acid upon contact (like the sting you get from fire ants and bees). Nettles are surprisingly high in protein and deliver lots of calcium, magnesium, iron and potassium, among other vitamins and minerals. For millennia, they have been prized for their anti-inflammatory properties. Their delightful green color and spinach-y flavor makes a wonderful spring soup. And the skull pictured above? Stay tuned for an episode of CSI: Sullivan County.
Tagged — stinging nettles