What’s Not on My Menu Monday – Ramps, etc.

April 2, 2013 at 9:54 am

On Principle There Should Be Something Else on the Menu

Do you know what will be on the menu this week for the Local Family? Hint, if you thought we’ve finished our Passover leftovers, you’d be wrong. Yesterday, I made a great big salad with frost-kissed Tomato Mountain spinach and the chicken element from our bollito misto–one of the prime reasons to make bollito misto is to have chicken for subsequent big salads.  Tonight, we’re going to be whittling away some of the big pot of tzimmes left.  Then, when that stuff is done, you’ll never guess what we’ll be mostly eating.  Wait, did you say vegan?  I doubt it, but the Local Kid decided to attempt a month of vegan eating for a segment on the high school new’s show she produces.  In solidarity, the Condiment Queen is joining.  I have no interest, but will surely be stuck with a fair amount of vegan food regardless.  Luckily, we stocked up last week on locally made tofu from Phoenix Bean.  What we will not be eating are ramps and other early Spring foods.

No one is harbingering our Spring with ramps.  Or tiny coils of ferns, only safe to eat now.  Do not blame it on the cold weather.   Wild watercress can pop up even in the snow.  Besides, I walk Molly the Eat Local Dog at least once a day.  I know all around me, shoots and leaves are coming forward, warmth be damned.  I know there are Spring foods out there.  I also know that I am not getting them.  Our problems remain, there are few outlets for Spring produce, and even more importantly, even few providers of Spring produce, at least or especially, for the consumer, the regular eat local guy.

Like I say, we are not lean in the Local Family.  We have a few bags of spinach still.  We have turnips and carrots a-plenty.  Lots of onions too and also some beets.  There are some local potatoes around, and we know that is one thing we can re-stock as needed.  With so much already prepared, we’re not even dipping into the stores.  And no, I’m not fully tired root cellar cuisine.  Still, on principle, I feel I should be having something else.

I’m sure any day now, I’ll be reading about some local chef and her study of ramp.  I’ll read a tweet or two about a divine terrine du pissenlit at a restaurant I cannot afford.  I am bothered that others will get their hands on Spring way before me.  I am more bothered that we cannot get our hands on this stuff generally.  That we instead throw our hands in the air and declare we have no Spring season here.  We accept the most gross supermarket asparagus and applaud chefs using English peas because they have tired of rutabagaas.  We have conceded way to easily in the eat local challenge.  There should be a lot more Spring on the menus this week.