When push comes to shove, I'm an imprecise cook. Inventive, experienced... even inspired, at times. But give me an exact procedure such as those common to pastry-making, and I sink to the bottom of the class.
So it was not a surprise when my stinging nettle soup failed. One is supposed to wear gloves to destem and chop the nettles before cooking. That sounded like a recipe for a kitchen full of little nettle-y bits to me. Instead, I dumped them whole into the soup, theorizing that I could strip the leaves from the stems after they cooked, avoiding the stingyness altogether. That didn't turn out to be a valid theory.
Well, I don't get too fussed about Cooking Gone Wrong. If I didn't experiment, I wouldn't keep learning. Instead I started musing about how to use nettles successfully without chopping OR destemming. And by Jove, I think I've got it. Tomorrow I'm making a stewed chicken with nettles and garlic chives in the crockpot. It's an easy recipe that makes both the chicken and a fabulous stock in one fell swoop.
I'll report back soon. Cross your fingers for me.