Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Spirit of the Plants has come to me in the form of a beautiful dancing green woman

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(gifts from dear Anne)

It has begun! Spring is here, not a whisper, or a suggestion, but real solid, sun-bathed, earth smelling, bud-unfurling thing.
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All signs point to her arrival, colorful eggs, the first morels,
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She is seen on the hills and the mountains, moving Northward.
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In the last five days we have hid and hunted for treasure, shared meals and gotten sun-kissed with friends.
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We have mourned for the winter's dead; my ducks, a hive of bees and let go of them.
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We've picked flowers and wild foods.
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Even though last year's bounty is the wrinkliest, scantest this season and new sprouts are still just that, there's a sense of abundance; ramps, dandelions, miner's lettuce, those precious morels from our secret spots, fiddleheads, nettles glorious, glorious nettles, whom I was worried I might have missed on my travels.
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The long, moody springs of the PNW suit me well, I have always loved the in-between seasons the most, the transitions, rather than the giddy heights.
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And in honor of Sprintime and because, as my grandmother Mummi used to say, repetition is the mother of all learning, here's a recipe for nettle pesto for those of you who weren't around the first time I posted it. If you have followed this blog for a while you probably know that I believe in cursory amounts and ingredients and cooking times.

You'll need:
a blenderfull of nettles, five or so cloves of garlic, oil (I used organic extra virgin olive), salt, about a 1/2 cup of seeds of your choice (I use sunflower).
Blend and add ingredients until you get the desired texture and flavor. Not much of a recipe really.

I like my nettles un-blanched and raw. I know a lot of folks blanch them, but that's wholly unnecessary and just removes nutrients from this magical food. The oil will mollify any sting. I don't use pine nuts because a) they're hella expensive b) they mostly come from China c) ever heard of pine nut mouth? It happened to someone I know.

My aversion to using cheese is for similar reasons: unnecessary, expensive, another not local ingredient. Sure it doesn't taste like the pesto one might be used to, but I feel like the whole point of eating local and seasonal is to learn new flavors and I for one love the flavor of nettles! Give it a whirl and add cheese, or whatever you like.

With this recipe I've found you can pretty much make pesto out of anything: zucchini, kale, spinach, radishes. Last year I even added spruce tips to it. Pesto is like salsa, you can make it out of any old thing you've got handy.
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                                                 Dress-a gift from Nicole on our first meeting
                                Bag-Frida Marina Vintage in Helsinki coming up in a post soon! The Best. So Inspiring.
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How's springtime in your neck of the woods?

14 comments:

  1. a) Your sunrise/sunset over running horses dress is beautiful! It goes perfectly with the backdrop in that photo. (all the photos are enchanting, the forest around you is utterly ethereal)
    b) Yay for the nettle pesto recipe! I had no idea it wasn't necessary to blanch nettles before eating them. How much oil do you put in to neutralize the sting?

    Happy happy spring!

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    1. hey love, once they're blended and have changed texture, they should be all good. taste carefully ;)

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  2. Sorry to hear about your ducks and hive man. That is sad news. Hurrah for Spring though. One of the feel-good seasons for sure. Your blue dress and little vintage bag paint a perfect picture, that is you. x!

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  3. Oh, lovely~ look at those nettles!! We just picked nettles today out by the lake! I love our springs here, too, all the rainy earthy smells and the salmon berries blooming, the mud and the sprouts and everything. Cascadia is magical. :) Happy Spring to you!

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  4. Täällä räystäät tippuu, aurinko paistaa, linnut riemulaulavat...Tämä Pohjolan kevät on niin kipeä, hidas, pakottava, raaka ja julma, hellä kuin hipaisu. Kaikessa soi hiljaa odotus. Lienee sanomattakin selvää, että jaan rakkautesi "välivuodenaikoihin" :)! Kiitos vielä vierailustasi täällä Kallion kulmilla, jonka tuoksut ja äänet on mulle se "kotipesä." Rakastan aamuja kun astun ulos rapusta, Meiran paahtimon tuoksu tulee vastaan, ratikan kiskot kirskuu, linnut huutaa ja taivas on korkealla. Vapaapäivänä kävelen Pohjoisrantaan, katselen hyistä merta ja haistan tuulessa kaikki kaukaiset maat ja tarinat. Yksi niistä kaukaisista rannoista on nyt siellä suunnalla, konkreettisesti erään keijukaisnaisen kotikulmilla. Sellaisen jonka hiuksissa on merenvihreää ja hymy joka valaisee koko huoneen.
    Maria/Frida m

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  5. oooh, these trees! I want to frolic through this forest! I want to collect nettles but haven't found a spot of them that is secluded enough to eat... I agree with loving the in betweens more than the heights. It seems that every season in the pnw is a constant transition. xo m

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  6. Kuivuneet heinätupot aitan laidalla puskevat lumen alta. Katkoin ränsistyneen kasvihuoneen nurkalta viime vuoden pujoja, ja sain haavoja käsiin, koska en tarvinnut hanskoja. Naapurin hepat kirmaavat lumessa, ja niiden tallilta tuoksahtaa meidän ovelle hevonpee, koska pakkanen ei enää jaksa sitä piilotella. Siskon nurilla siis tuoksuu Meiran paahtimo, meillä kakka. :)

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  7. How enchanting !!! Love all the beautiful pictures . Ill have to be a brave girl and have a go at the recipe you posted...I'm PRETTY BAD at cooking but I shall try. Much Love!

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  8. wow! those morels are gorgeous! i actually found some nettle growing in my friends backyard and brought it home. unfortunately there isn't enough to make your yummy pesto with but i've seen it growing in one other place so perhaps i'll have to go snip some. love your dresses and all the springy wonderfullness in this post!

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  9. kivaa,kun siellä on jo noin keväistä! Ja nokkoset ah! Mä kyllä yleensä nopsasti kiehautan ne,mutta kaadaan sitten keitinveden mukiin ja juon hunajan kanssa.
    Olet kaunis:-)

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    1. yum, super hyvä idea! saako jakaa englanniksiki?

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  10. You're bees died??? That even makes me sad. And I didn't even know them that well. I'm sorry. Miss you! Reading this made me home-sick. Oh well. love you xoxo

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  11. I believe you inhabit every season, better than anyone I know.

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