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Where the Wild Things Grow

April 16, 2010

Well, this is so late, but I’m posting it anyway.  Last weekend at the market we saw the first of the ramps! Ramps are wild leeks, so certain farmers will go out in the woods and find them to sell at the farmer’s market.

Ramps only last 4-6 weeks around here, a very short growing season that makes us look so forward to spring!  K and I had JUST been talking about how ramps would be ready soon when we got notice they’d actually be at the farmer’s market.  This spring has been so warm that everything has been growing much earlier.

Last week at the market, here’s what we bought:

  • 1/2 gallon of whole milk (to make more ricotta), 2 quarts of cream (to make butter), 1 pint of chocolate milk from Battenkill Creamery
  • 5lbs of Washburn potatoes from Barber’s Farm
  • 2 bunches of ramps, 6 oz. of goat cheese from Painted Goat Farm
  • 1 loaf of german rye bread, 1 loaf sunflower flax seed bread, 1 french baguette, 1 cheese danish, and 1 croissant from Our Daily Bread
  • A few apples from Maynard Farm

We bought 2 bunches of ramps and all that bread because this weekend we’re hosting our friends who shared the meat CSA to finally split that roast we got last month.  We’re having a German-themed dinner with sauerbraten, potato dumplings, red cabbage, and for dessert, Schwarzwalder Kirsch Torte, Black Forest cherry cake.  K has dumped a quart of our frozen cherries from last June’s picking into a bowl Kirschwasser (cherry schnapps) to soak it up for the cake.  Yum!

In addition, I’m using the ramps to make Morel and Ramp Crostini as a very non-German appetizer.  Doesn’t that look good?

So, after the market last Sunday, I dragged K on a walk to see if we could find our own ramps.  I mean, we live near some woods.  Why pay $4/bunch if we have them nearby?

Well, unfortunately we didn’t find any, but we did find huge stands of wild onions growing!

So, I decided to pick some, brought them home to wash.

And that night, we made a baked ham with ramps and mashed potatoes with wild onions in them.  So good!

All together, that made two things on our plates that night that had been growing wild just a day earlier.
I would love sometime to go on an edible hike, to learn about what other things we might find in forests that we could eat.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. April 16, 2010 8:39 pm

    I love Black Forest Cake made the traditional way. So delicious. I remember eating some in the black forest as a kid until they told my mom about the alcohol. Ooops :-)

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