Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Angel Hair with Ramps and Cherry Tomatoes

Needless to say, we are eating a lot of ramps around here recently.  This is one of our favorite dishes.  You don't need ramps to make this either, just use garlic and onions as a substitute.  This recipe takes no more than 20 minutes to prepare.
 If using ramps, use the whole plant and cut them in half.

 You need about 3-4 cups of cherry tomatoes.

 I used this ramp seasoning I bought at the festival.

 Click to see what is in it if you want to make your own.  Using just salt and pepper is okay too.

 Cook 1 pound of angel hair for just 2 minutes in salted water.  Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

 Pour a few tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy pot.

 Saute' the ramps and sprinkle them with the seasoning.

 Cook them until they start to brown.

 Throw in the cherry tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes start to blister.

 Add the cup of pasta water. After a couple minutes, mash them with a potato masher until they release their juices.

 Continue to cook until the sauce begins to thicken.

 Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the pasta.  Toss it to coat all of the noodles.

 Stir in 1 cup of Parmesan cheese.

 Serve with some shredded fresh basil on top.  Yum!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A Couple Shoutouts and a New Find

 I am sending virtual flowers to my friend Tom at A Hippo on the Lawn.  Tom has had a really rough go recently with malaria and has to be flown to England to enter hospital for a while.  If you know Tom already, you know how less than thrilled he is with this inconvenience.  If you don't know Tom, you are missing a real trip!  Hop on over and read some of his past posts and wish him a quick recovery.  There are a lot of people missing him right now.  What can I say about Tom?  There is no one quite like him!  He is a jewel.  And this comes from someone that collects rarities!

Also, if you like seeing Teddy and following her antics, please visit my friend Olly at: She says her chow Bon Bon is the stubbornist chow in Tokyo.  She's lucky because Teddy is the most stubborn chow in the world.  Olly is showing gorgeous photos of the cherry blossoms in Tokyo right now.

 On another note, if you have never eaten a passion fruit, try one if you can get your hands on one. I bought one at the store yesterday, 2.00 for one passion fruit! At 50 cents a bite, it was worth every penny.  Passion fruit makes me swoon.  I wish I could get them more often.  And yes Leanne, I have major passion fruit jealousy!  Leanne grows them in her gardens in NZ.  

Monday, April 28, 2014

The Ramp Festival

 We finally arrived at the ramp festival. The first booth was selling Colombian street food called cachapas which are like cornmeal pancakes.  You could get them with any of the above selections and, of course, topped with ramps.

 This place was making Philly cheese steaks with ramps.

 He showed us his prepared ramp stash.

 The meat is browned over a grill and then the ramps are mixed in. They were excellent.

 Ramp risotto.

 The end of the tracks literally ended right in town.

 The train tracks leading into town and the train station to the left.
 Appalachian musicians.

 They preformed traditional Appalachian dances which was very interesting because The Blog Tech spent lots of time talking to them and they were all from Seattle.  The local college had recruited them.

 Click to enlarge. There were lots of ramp soups offered at this fair.

 Two of the cooks.
 Battered fried ramps served with ramp sauce.

This booth was selling ramp hamburgers.  They mixed chopped ramps with the ground meat and then grilled them.  They were very good.
 Ramp salsa.

 And then the train rolled in.

 The train was pulling passenger cars as far as you could see.  It was taking passengers on a scenic tour of the area.  Tickets were sold out!  That's how many people this event attracted.  It was such a fun day.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

A Ramp Festival

 The Blog Tech and I headed out early yesterday to go to our first ramp festival.  In case you are not familiar with ramps, here is what wiki has to say about them: 

Allium tricoccum

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Wild leek or ramp
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Genus: Allium
Species: A. tricoccum
Binomial name
Allium tricoccum
  • Aglitheis tricoccum (Aiton) Raf.
  • Allium pictum Moldenke
  • Allium tricoccum f. pictum Moldenke
  • Allium triflorum Raf.
  • Ophioscorodon tricoccon (Aiton) Wallr.
  • Validallium tricoccum (Aiton) Small
Allium tricoccum (commonly known as ramp,[3] ramps, spring onion, ramson, wild leek,[3] wood leek,[3] and wild garlic) is an early spring vegetable, a perennial wild onion with a strong garlic-like odor and a pronounced onion flavor.[4] Ramps are found across much of the eastern United States and eastern Canada, from Alabama to Nova Scotia to Manitoba to Oklahoma. They are popular in the cuisines of the rural uplands of the American South, and also in the Canadian province of Quebec. Ramps also have a growing popularity in upscale restaurants throughout North America.

 We love ramps in our part of the world and when you have to buy them in markets, they are around $15.00 a pound.  If you know where they grow and forage for them, they grow like weeds.  Just before we arrived at the festival, we saw signs along the side of the road for ramp hot dogs and ramp hamburgers.  We made a beeline to this place.  Bob's Hot Dogs.  A little gem in the hills of West Virginia.

 This is the best hot dog spot we have ever found.

 Click on any of the pics for a better look.  Anyone want a Viagra Dog?

 Though Bob was a little chubby, he didn't look like he ate this very often.

 This is the ramp menu.

 Bob offers a lot of food for a very small place.

 And he has a lot of fun naming his food.

 This is quite  a popular spot.  It was packed by the time we left.

 Check out the sign below the shake glass.

 The locals love him.

 Which dog would you order?

 What do you think this is?

 Ramp jam and we bought some.

 The biscuit menu.

 Inside Bob's.   And what did we order?

 A ramp dog.

 A ramp burger.

 Ramp homefries.

 And of course, someone got the ramp milkshake!  I tasted it and it was actually very good up front with a rather, rampy aftertaste.

Bob's wife makes homemade ramp bread.  We bought this fresh out of the oven.
I will show you the festival tomorrow.