I hope it's not breaking down.
I'm reading a Carol O'Connell book. She is an amazing writer, and her characters and plots are all wonderful. I think I've read all her books, (read and re-read). My favorites are The Judas Child, though I still get the chills when I think of it, 'Winter House', and 'Dead Famous'. The only gripe I have with her books is ever though she writes so well, her plots and characters are all so fabulous - I'm still always disappointed in her villains. It's as if her villains are not cut from the same literary cloth as her heros - and even some of the secondary characters. In fact, many of her secondary characters would make better villains than the one finally exposed. And that has always puzzled me about the Mallory Books. Strangely enough, even in the Judas Child, the final terror wasn't so the villain, but one of the victims herself.
At any rate, if I could write even half as well as Ms. O Connell, I'd be thrilled.
I was going to ramble about something else today before I got distracted: Nettle soup.
I was working in the garden and saw new patches of nettles springing up. I thought, "What the heck - might as well grow to love them - I'm not going to get rid of them." So I picked (with gloves on) a huge batch of nettles and made soup. Everyone loved it - my husband, son, daughter, and son's friend. The taste is quite unique - fresh and almost sweet. My daughter thought it tasted like I'd put curry in the soup. My son's friend thought it tasted like fresh pea soup, my husband guessed asparagus and spinach.
The recipe is very simple:
A large bowl full of young nettle tops, rinced and chopped. (Wear gloves, use tongs to rince them in a colander, and chop them with the help of scissors)Here is a picture of the nettles in the sink, the potato, and the onion.
In butter, gently cook one diced onion, one peeled and chopped potato, & one garlic clove.
When the onion is almost colored, add the nettles and sweat them in the heat. (Here is a photo taken before I added the water ) There is another pan of onions and potatos, but that was for the Spanish omelette.
Add enough water to cover the nettles, one or two bouillon cubes to taste (I used one chicken and one veal stock cube) and cook until the potatoes are very tender.
Run the soup through a mixer in batches. If you want, stir in a tablespoon of fresh cream, or créme fraiche.
My husband thinks it would also be very good as a summer soup, chilled, like gaspatcho. I think he's right. It has a lot of flavor, and it's delicious.
Chilled with a paper thin slice of lemon would be very good, I think. Or steaming hot with a dollop of cream.