Tuesday, 29 April 2014


I was missing having anything green on my plate, and just drinking water loses its appeal after, oh, 5 hours...let alone 5 days. Now the rules of Live Below the Line are fairly strict in terms of home grown veggies and accepting donations of food, but foraging is totally allowed. 

The Hullian was ahead of me on this one, and went on a foraging outing in the Yorkshire countryside at the weekend, returning with dandelion, nettles and elderflower. I figured I was out of luck on this score, living in the big smoke. Then I did a bit of Googling and realised how wrong I was! Apparently there are hundreds of edible plants in London's parks (presuming you can avoid those that have been 'watered' by the local canine population) - you just have to know what you're looking for. 

Which I don't...but figured I couldn't go wrong with nettles. So I armed myself with full body cover, rubber gloves and scissors and walked all of 100m from my flat to a small wooded area packed with fresh, juicy nettles. Five minutes later I returned with a bag full and wondered what I could do with them...

First up, nettle tea. This seemed pretty easy; add water to nettles, boil, strain, drink. It tasted....odd. But not totally repulsive. And having made a thermos of it to bring to the office today, it is definitely growing on me, so to speak.

I also figured it may work as a spinach substitute, so tested it in last night's curry dinner. Again, it was odd...but not too bad, and it was nice having some greens to add to the mixed frozen vegetables that I'm supposed to try and get my 5-a-day from. 

So another nettle-picking expedition may be in order this evening, and hopefully a lot more green on my plate!

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