Monday, June 13, 2011

Nettle and Comfrey and Bears...Oh My!

Well, once I found out how well the fresh nettle blended and froze into cubes I knew I needed more.  My friend and I headed up into the hills with our kids for a day of picking.  Since the both of us have serious over-do-it tendencies we came home with A Lot Of Nettle.  In fact at one point after my second day of blending and freezing (I'd long since given up on ice cube trays only and was freezing the mush in large shallow trays to be broken into chunks later) I may have had the thought "too much nettle" go through my brain...but it only lasted a moment.  I googled nettle, came across this site (filled with nettle recipes) and was re-inspired by the thought of nettle ravioli (and me with my $2 garage sale pasta maker) and nettle gnocchi. 
As soon as I had plenty of frozen raw nettle, frozen cooked nettle and a year's supply of dried nettle for my infusions I had time to make some soup.  This is a simple potato broccoli soup that I added several stems of nettle to.  I cook two potatoes in broth then add some broccoli and garlic to cook just until tender.  Then I add the nettle to cook for a few minutes and then blend it all until smooth with an immersion blender.  We like it with a little cheese (feta, gouda or cheddar).
Then it was time to move onto comfrey.
My son's friend was kind enough to bring me some comfrey so that I could make a quick batch of comfrey salve to take to my mom.  This batch I made using the heat from a candle to infuse the oil.

 
It is a quick method (link to a photo tutorial of my son making some) and once the oil was infused I just added a bit of beeswax and then let the oil harden into salve. 
I also filled a quart jar with comfrey and olive oil and will let it sit for a few weeks until I strain it and then use a fresh batch of comfrey to infuse it into a stronger oil following Susun Weed's method here and here.  There is just something so simple and pleasing about gathering wild goods for making remedies and food.  I love it. 
And this is a picture I just couldn't resist sharing.  Unfortunately my reflection in the window makes it a little hard to see what is outside.  Just minutes before I took this photo E went to take the compost out (we were visiting at my parents' house) and when he came back in he said that he thought there must be a bear out there because the middle bin was knocked over...this didn't surprise me (bears are not unusual there) and my mind was moving onto the next thing when I hear him say...and I heard rustling.  Well!  That stopped me in my tracks.  He didn't mean that the bears had been there last night he meant that they were there...now!  I went to look out the bedroom window and sure enough.

11 comments:

sheila said...

Eeks. It's a wonder he didn't break that composter, leaning on it like that.

Eeks again. I am such a bear magnet and it always gives me the willies to see one.

ingsti: Pig Latin term meaning "What happens to a bear when he sticks his head in the honey bee hive"

Shell said...

Oh my goodness!

donna!ee said...

awesome! really dig your all natural life...thank you muchly for sharing! :)

Jane said...

He thought you put it out there for him. After all it is in a nice bear sized serving bowl ;)

Sarah said...

Was SO excited to find your blog! Don't know why I haven't come across it before, but you have one more loyal follower now!

daisy said...

Wow! I wonder why he is visiting so close to the house. Guess they don't scare easy anymore.

I always enjoy learning from you and your natural remedies. You're a wealth of information!

Katherine said...

Sounds like you've been busy! Glad to hear you're getting in such a stock of nettle.

Good grief. Bears are unwelcome guests, but perhaps this fellow will be neater when he dines? How funny to see him standing on a crate so that he can see into your compost bin.

Elizabeth said...

We only have coyotes to worry about. Bears, yikes!

I have been looking for a natural light green colour for my soap and guess what? A nettle infusion is apparently what works! Must experiment...

LaelShine said...

Awwww! What a cutie!
When I Lived in Williams Lake, we saw bears all the time. I kinda miss going outside,rounding the corner getting the shock of my life as I scare the bear and the bear scares me,lol

Anonymous said...

Wow - how amazing! I would love to see a bear in the wild - none here is Australia! xxBrenda

Gramerly said...

Woo-wee, a little close for comfort.
I'm itching to check around for some nettle. My first experience with it was feeling like my hand received a bunch of tiny bee stings. I didn't know it was good for something.