Six Strawberry Delights

Sunday, June 10, 2018


Earlier this spring, I ruthlessly clipped the runners on our tangle of strawberry plants and they're rewarding me by producing like never before! There are actually enough for us to enjoy a few perfect berries in spite of the chipmunks taking a heartbreaking, single bite out of 80% of them. And they are amazing - delicately sweet and tart.

Right now is the time to enjoy them and here are six recipes you might like.

1. Pair fresh strawberries with a vanilla panna cotta - their sweet, tartness is a wonderful companion to the creaminess.


2. Make a strawberry rhubarb pie- if you've never tried it before, the combination of strawberries and tart rhubarb is surprisingly wonderful. And lots of butter and sugar don't hurt.


3. Muddle some berries with lemon juice, fresh mint and sugar to make a refreshing strawberry mint lemonade.


4. Add some other berries, apple or invasive Japanese knotweed to make a delicious strawberry crisp.


5. Make the summertime classic, strawberry shortcake.


6. Make your own jam and enjoy it all year long.


You might also like:




Wild Ramp Rules - Harvest Sustainably Or Not At All

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Many years back, I discovered the joys of wild ramps. A few years later, I discovered how threatened they've become due to unsustainable harvesting :(

Ramps (allium tricoccum) are a slow-growing plant that's native to the northeast United States that takes many years to mature. As a result, digging them up by the roots threatens their survival as a species.

A clump of wild leeks growing near a streambed by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2011

RAMP RULES

Here are the basic rules you need to follow to help ensure the survival or wild ramps:

1. Don't tell people about any ramp patches you know of. As Gandalf said to Frodo, "Keep it secret. Keep it safe."

2. Don't dig them up by the roots! Mother Nature is watching and she will put you on the naughty list.

3. Harvest a single green leaf from fully mature plants in a big, healthy patch, taking only what you know you will actually use.

4. Say something if you see unsustainably harvested ramps for sale (as in anything other than just the greens) in stores or farm stands. Be polite in your educational efforts - you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar. But I suspect a little gentle shaming via social media could be very effective if they are not inclined to listen to you in person...

5. Share this post with others to spread the word.

6. Plant your own patch of ramps and leave those growing on public lands alone.

We've planted some seeds and transplanted some young ramps to a suitable spot on our land over the years and I can attest to the fact that they grow and spread extremely slooooowly so we're just leaving them alone in hopes that someday they will grow into a flourishing patch like this one.

Pay dirt! A hillside of wild leeks by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2011

Here are some places you can order ramp seeds and sustainably-grown plants from. Keep in mind that they are only available at certain times of the year.

Ramp Farm in Richwood, West Virginia
304-846-4235 or rampfarm@frontier.com

Edge of the Woods Nursery in Orefield, PA
610-395-2570 or info@edgeofthewoodsnursery.com

Amanda's Native Plants in Dansville, NY
585-750-6288 or amandasgarden@frontier.net

Archewild in Quakertown, PA
855-752-6862 or contact@archewild.com

Happy growing and sustainable harvesting.

You might also like:



Great Books!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Although it's not food-related, I'm so pleased with my newly organized book recommendations that I'm gonna share them here anyway.

I was in the third grade when I started to read non-stop and I've never stopped. Books are both my window into the world and also my favorite method of escaping reality. My idea of paradise is a sunny room with a soft bed and a big pile of good books in it (my kids are conveniently occupied elsewhere in this fantasy.)

I recently spent way too much time combing through my GoodReads shelves, library loans, Amazon order history, and the wispy threads of my memory to put together this spreadsheet of all the books that have brought me the most pleasure and insight over the years.

I also added a second tab for all the books I want to read thanks to the wonderful recommendations of friends and family.

I am not allowing editing on this doc but I welcome you to recommend books you love via the comments on this post and you can always make a copy of the googledoc to mark up with your own likes and dislikes.

Although I've linked to the Amazon listings in my doc as that is how I research books, I urge you to support your local library and bookstore if you're fortunate enough to have one. I am particularly grateful for my library system's online catalog - it's wonderfully convenient! - though I always enjoy going into the actual building, too.

Please check it out. I hope you find something you like. 📖


Sunday, June 10, 2018

Six Strawberry Delights


Earlier this spring, I ruthlessly clipped the runners on our tangle of strawberry plants and they're rewarding me by producing like never before! There are actually enough for us to enjoy a few perfect berries in spite of the chipmunks taking a heartbreaking, single bite out of 80% of them. And they are amazing - delicately sweet and tart.

Right now is the time to enjoy them and here are six recipes you might like.

1. Pair fresh strawberries with a vanilla panna cotta - their sweet, tartness is a wonderful companion to the creaminess.


2. Make a strawberry rhubarb pie- if you've never tried it before, the combination of strawberries and tart rhubarb is surprisingly wonderful. And lots of butter and sugar don't hurt.


3. Muddle some berries with lemon juice, fresh mint and sugar to make a refreshing strawberry mint lemonade.


4. Add some other berries, apple or invasive Japanese knotweed to make a delicious strawberry crisp.


5. Make the summertime classic, strawberry shortcake.


6. Make your own jam and enjoy it all year long.


You might also like:




Saturday, April 28, 2018

Wild Ramp Rules - Harvest Sustainably Or Not At All

Many years back, I discovered the joys of wild ramps. A few years later, I discovered how threatened they've become due to unsustainable harvesting :(

Ramps (allium tricoccum) are a slow-growing plant that's native to the northeast United States that takes many years to mature. As a result, digging them up by the roots threatens their survival as a species.

A clump of wild leeks growing near a streambed by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2011

RAMP RULES

Here are the basic rules you need to follow to help ensure the survival or wild ramps:

1. Don't tell people about any ramp patches you know of. As Gandalf said to Frodo, "Keep it secret. Keep it safe."

2. Don't dig them up by the roots! Mother Nature is watching and she will put you on the naughty list.

3. Harvest a single green leaf from fully mature plants in a big, healthy patch, taking only what you know you will actually use.

4. Say something if you see unsustainably harvested ramps for sale (as in anything other than just the greens) in stores or farm stands. Be polite in your educational efforts - you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar. But I suspect a little gentle shaming via social media could be very effective if they are not inclined to listen to you in person...

5. Share this post with others to spread the word.

6. Plant your own patch of ramps and leave those growing on public lands alone.

We've planted some seeds and transplanted some young ramps to a suitable spot on our land over the years and I can attest to the fact that they grow and spread extremely slooooowly so we're just leaving them alone in hopes that someday they will grow into a flourishing patch like this one.

Pay dirt! A hillside of wild leeks by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2011

Here are some places you can order ramp seeds and sustainably-grown plants from. Keep in mind that they are only available at certain times of the year.

Ramp Farm in Richwood, West Virginia
304-846-4235 or rampfarm@frontier.com

Edge of the Woods Nursery in Orefield, PA
610-395-2570 or info@edgeofthewoodsnursery.com

Amanda's Native Plants in Dansville, NY
585-750-6288 or amandasgarden@frontier.net

Archewild in Quakertown, PA
855-752-6862 or contact@archewild.com

Happy growing and sustainable harvesting.

You might also like:



Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Great Books!

Although it's not food-related, I'm so pleased with my newly organized book recommendations that I'm gonna share them here anyway.

I was in the third grade when I started to read non-stop and I've never stopped. Books are both my window into the world and also my favorite method of escaping reality. My idea of paradise is a sunny room with a soft bed and a big pile of good books in it (my kids are conveniently occupied elsewhere in this fantasy.)

I recently spent way too much time combing through my GoodReads shelves, library loans, Amazon order history, and the wispy threads of my memory to put together this spreadsheet of all the books that have brought me the most pleasure and insight over the years.

I also added a second tab for all the books I want to read thanks to the wonderful recommendations of friends and family.

I am not allowing editing on this doc but I welcome you to recommend books you love via the comments on this post and you can always make a copy of the googledoc to mark up with your own likes and dislikes.

Although I've linked to the Amazon listings in my doc as that is how I research books, I urge you to support your local library and bookstore if you're fortunate enough to have one. I am particularly grateful for my library system's online catalog - it's wonderfully convenient! - though I always enjoy going into the actual building, too.

Please check it out. I hope you find something you like. 📖