nettle pesto

I recently finished an 8-day work hitch out in the backcountry so have a few days to catch up on things like paying bills and blog posts. I’ll start off with a brief update on some foraging we’ve done this summer. I have been carrying my “Edible and Medicinal Plants of the Rockies” book with me most places and trying to learn some of the edibles in my new backyard. After all, foraged plants come from the ultimate polyculture.

One of my favorite finds has been stinging nettle. Stingining nettle can be found in most places, and is rich in good vitamins and minerals. I have to admit, I was a little skeptical about eating something that stings my hand, but it turned out delicious, and I assure you– it didn’t sting my mouth. Nettle can be made into tea or added to lasagna, among other things, but pesto is a satisfying way to use up an abundance of free nettles.

1. We first went for a hike, and found some nettles. They are easily mistaken for wild mint in these parts, but just touch them and you’ll know the difference. We grabbed (with gloved hands) several bunches. It is better to use young plants, or at least the more tender tops of older plants.

tony with stinging nettle

tony with stinging nettle

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Best Vanilla Icing Ever!

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Cinnamon rolls from scratch.

The other day I decided to make a batch of totally from scratch homemade cinnamon rolls. I quickly realized that this is not an everyday kind of thing, it is a bit on the intense side of baking. Fun, no doubt, but intense. The bun  recipe is actually quite amazing and can be found here.

As often happens to me I got so excited that I forgot to make sure I had all the ingredients before I started. I had the buns rolled and cinnamon-ed before realizing that I had no powdered sugar, nor anymore butter for the icing. Living on the top of a mountain  I can’t just stroll down to the corner store and get some. I pored over the internet looking for an alternative and found bupkiss. At this point, with the aromas already coming from the oven I said to myself “The hell with it” and just started winging it.

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