Of Nettles and Such

A walk across our sodden paddocks here a few days ago revealed a large patch of nettles.  Of course they need to be dug out, as my husband hastily reminded me.

However – they are plentiful and free, and when I’ve been on radio on occasion, people ring in extolling the virtues of nettles.

I put out a call on Facebook, with many recipes provided, but nettle rennet for cheese really took my eye.

I made this nettle rennet, which turned out to be a suspicious looking green/black brew (that didn’t smell too wonderful either).  After all that effort though, my husband picking a clothes basket full of the nettles, and the subsequent cooking up,  I decided to use it in my feta recipe yesterday.  I thought it didn’t work, no sign or curds when I went to bed.

“Oh well, ” I thought .”The chooks can have that mixture in tomorrow’s warm mash.”

However – by this morning the feta mixture had some promising looking curds, so now it is straining away in a feta basket lined with a layer of cheesecloth. The curds do still look a bit soft though. I suspect it might turn out like a nettle cream cheese.

OK, so what could I have done better? I think I added too much water when boiling up the nettles.

This morning I saw Robert heading out spade in hand to dig out all the nettle plants.

“NO! Stop! I’m going to try again!” I shouted.

So the nettles live to grow another day.

The new batch of nettle rennet I am currently preparing is looking much more promising. I’ll post a photo of the resulting cheese tomorrow.



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