Wherein Being Stuck At Home Isn’t So Bad.
Years past, I would have been up to the Dane County Farmers’ Market several times by now. We camp at a park in the area, making the trip to Madison, WI an easy Saturday morning treat. But work schedules, school activities and personal commitments have kept me home in the western burbs, where farmers markets – and farm stands – have yet to really take off. Asparagus has been plentiful in our kitchen, but what I really missed were ramps.
Did I say miss? No, more like crave.
I mean, ramps are only around for such a very, very short time. Madison was my connection to this most spring of vegetables. And Madison is hopelessly out of reach for now.
So imagine my delight to see that Irv & Shelly’s Fresh Picks would have ramps in their Fresh Picks Box last week. Saved! Like Beet Reporter Jacqueline Fisch I occasionally order from Fresh Picks, especially when their boxes start to fill up with locally sourced products as they are now. Their ramps, and the over-wintered parsnips that were also included last week, come from the very same farm – Harmony Valley Farm - that operates one of my standard stops at the Dane County Farmers’ Market.
Thanks to Fresh Picks, and some venison loin steaks I had left in the freezer from Gooch Farms in Sullivan, WI, I was able to put together quite a local foods feast for dinner last night – a nice Mother’s Day treat to myself! Roasted parsnips became a earthy puree to balance out the richness of the venison. And here I will put in a huge plug for grilled ramps.
If you’ve ever been unsure about the garlicky/oniony pungency of ramps, fear not. Two minutes on the grill is all it takes to transform raw ramps into a silky treat with an amazing sweetness. Trust me. You need to eat these.
And hey – just two weeks until my first trip up to Madison this year. Hooray!