Right, I have an ongoing fascination with foraged foods: elder berries, stinging nettles, all sorts of nuts… so in this season, I’m somewhere between giddy from all the exuberant excess produced by the plant life, and shocked how it’s all squashed and then cleaned away.
Being a bluestocking with a degree in history doesn’t help, either: I _know_ that all those acorns which are covering some parks, lawns or paths are perfect food for pigs. Only there are no pigs and chances are that resident squirrels, jays and pigeons have switched to living of the left-overs in fast food wrappers, so 99% of it go to waste.
But at least I can collect some of the nuts and berries and of course there’s always Stinging Nettle. This time round in soup form:
The other influence right now was an unexpected visit in my bedroom when I was staying over night with a friend. No, the friend was perfectly well behaved. The visitors quite literally dropped in from the garden:
There are actually three of them, the smallest one at the bottom and possibly just being used as a foothold by the largest one. And after taking a few pictures I did of course deposit them in the garden, as close to the nearest pond as possible.
Now, here’s the Halloween idea:
- vegetable or potato soup, bought if neccessary
- bunch full of stinging nettles
- rubber toads/frogs
The nettles should of course be picked from some site where there’s little pollution, so no transit traffic, and it’s a good idea to pick only the tops from 3 feet high or above – that minimizes the chances of animal wee or, at least as problematic, some small parasites from animals on the leaves. And obviously: wash thoroughly, as with any vegetables.
Now: heat the soup, maybe add some bacon for taste. Coarsly chop the nettles, chuck in, blend or food process the whole thing until it’s a nice, even, dark-green mass.
Serve garnished with a fresh rubber toad (on top or immersed, according to personal taste).
Use a tablecloth that washes well.