Header for Courtney’s weekly tea
An illustrated pink gaiwan filled with amber liquid
the weekly tea
Dried Nettle Tea
from Shelly Kongo Herbs
weekly tea: dried nettle tea
A while back, I talked about fresh stinging nettle tea. We are getting to the end of the point where stinging nettle can be foraged, alas, and that means we must turn to dried nettle tea.
Dried nettle tea tastes like a slightly flatter version of stinging nettle. Gone are the robustly vivacious living notes. It’s still sweet, and it still feels good, but it doesn’t feel as energetic.
If you like stinging nettles (and who doesn’t?) it’s definitely worth a try. But this feels more like it belongs in a tisane blend than anything else.

I got this stinging nettle tea from Shelly Kongo Herbs.

Two times around the block to start…
I learned something about the Pele this last week, and it helped me understand myself. This surprises me, since we have been together for almost 16 years at this point. But this week, I learned something.
It starts like this: I took a class in wild plant foraging from the Denver Botanic Gardens this weekend. It was very fun; she taught us a handful of plants that are tasty and widely available and unlikely to be confused with anything that will kill you, taught us how to harvest and prepare, and helped us make a big, delicious lunch.
Ever since then, I've been seeing edible plants everywhere. Lamb's quarters! Marva neglecta! Those things that took over the backyard last year are curly dock, and they're zesty and citrusy!
So anyway: back to my dog. We try to give Pele an evening walk. He seems to want one: he whines, he runs around a little, he gives us imploring looks. Some times, he'll go. But most of the time, we take him outside and he'll go a little bit, and then stop, and then go a little bit, and then stop, and give us imploring looks. And since we do not speak the same language, I don't know what the look means. Finally, we'll take him home and he'll give us sad looks and act like he needs a walk but he won't go on one.
This week, something happened. We were doing our little “okay we will take you on a thirty foot walk, and then see what you do.” But I got distracted by looking for edible plants in other people's lawns, and instead of asking Pele what he wanted to do and giving up when he gave me a sad look and returning home, I just waited. And then Pele went another thirty feet and stopped, and I did the same thing. We made it around the block once that way, and then instead of turning home, he headed back around the block, this time more vigorously, and after that turn around, he started off at a brisk trot and went on a couple mile walk.
And suddenly, the clue dropped: Pele wanted to go on a walk, but he needed to warm up because he has arthritis, and my being an inherently impatient person meant that I had not given him sufficient time to do so. (As a note, standing around for a few minutes when it is below freezing is also something that is a little harder to do.)
So I apologized to him and we've been doing slow warm ups around the block, and it turns out that he does want an evening walk; we have just needed to have something to distract me so that I can give it to him properly.
Pele on a walk: A very fuzzy black dog with ears angled back so he can hear me behind him, trotting along.
So as I was taking Pele on our first several mile walk that he really did want to go on, but needed to warm up for, I started thinking about my general impatience and my inability to tolerate Not Doing Everything As Fast As Possible.
This is difficult for me, because I get very impatient with myself. A lot. I also get impatient with other people. And things. And governments that take steps in the directions of addressing massive looming problems like climate change, but not enough of them.
My impatience isn’t always productive, and so I’ve been thinking about how to manage my impatience in a way that is best for all concerned.

Do not eat the wild parsley!
One of the first plants we were shown in our foraging class was poison hemlock. Of the non-mushroom plants in Colorado, many are toxic, but the toxicity is sometimes getting a case of getting the runs. Hemlock will kill you. Even a tiny amount.
So I came home from the class and bounced around the backyard looking for edible things, and my husband asked me what this one plant was. It looked kind of like parsley, maybe? And it was growing right behind the herb box, where I'd planted parsley last year and let it go to seed, so maybe it could have blown there? It smelled good, almost like parsley.
But it also kind of looked like hemlock. We'd seen a mature plant in class; these were little babies. And I just wasn't sure.
So I did a full check (compared leaves, used an app, checked the stalk for the little tell-tale purple spots) and it turns out, it was indeed not parsley and it was definitely hemlock and I ripped all of those out because I do not need poison plants in my back yard where my dog and cat and sometimes other people's kids spend time.
A ferny plant with pretty little white flowers. It looks so enticing! It will kill you.

Until next week!
Image item

This has been Courtney's Weekly Tea, a weekly newsletter about tea, books, and everything else. If you don't want to receive this email, or do want to receive additional emails about Courtney's books/book events/etc, please use the links below to unsubscribe from this list or to manage your mailing list preferences.