My older brother and his family came to the mountains from their home on the coast of South Carolina for spring break. Of course, dogwood winter showed up to greet them with a blast of cold air that pretty well froze their thin, southern blood! Nevertheless, we got out to enjoy a hike with some spectacular views. Then, having earned […]
It’s ramp season once again! The patch on my neighbor’s property is flourishing. I dug a few ramps Sunday and added a few to a tomato and avocado relish last night in place of green onions. That’s my preferred way to use them–as a seasoning or embellishment. But there are plenty of other ways to use them to add some zing to your spring menu. Goodness knows all the trendy restaurants are doing it! Which put me in mind of that scene in the movie Forest Gump where Bubba is listing all the ways you can eat shrimp. So I thought I’d compile a ramp recipe list for your Appalachian edification! Ramp pesto Ramp carbonara Ramp omelet (one of my favorites–see picture) Ramp focaccia Pickled ramps Ramp-aroni rolls (see Fish Hawk Acres in Buckhannon for these!) Ramp dip Creamed ramps Ramp kimchi (hmmmm) Fried eggs and ramps Buttermilk-fried ramps (yes, please!) Ramp chimichurri Potato ramp soup Ramp jam Ramp pizza Bacon and ramp vinaigrette Ramp aioli Fried ramps and potatoes And, of course, boiled ramps with a splash of vinegar There’s more, but I expect you’ve got the idea. Suffice it to say ramps are almighty versatile! (And if you want to see a menu that weaves ramps throughout, check out this one for a ramp dinner to benefit the library in my home town.) What’s your favorite way to enjoy them?
Autumn used to be my favorite season, but as I get older I’m enjoying spring more and more. Maybe it’s the relief from the cold. Maybe it’s more hours of sunlight. Or maybe it’s the wildflowers! As kids we’d keep an eye on the daffodils growing above the house so we could pick them for Aunt Bess or Grandma. Although […]
Just in case you didn’t notice, today is the first day of April. OR April Fool’s Day. I’ve never been a fan of April Fool’s jokes, but there IS a long-standing tradition of natives of the mountains (or most any place) playing tricks on outsiders who aren’t familiar with the local habits. Take Snipe hunting for example. Now, there IS […]
It’s finally March and while we still have redbud, dogwood, and blackberry winters to go (at a minimum), country folks are thinking about plowing the garden. When I was a kid my father and one of the more mature ladies of the church would have pretty much the same “discussion” every spring. She believed strongly in planting by the signs and Dad was determined to convince her it was not only silly, but un-Christian to do so. As far as I know, neither one ever came around to the other’s way of thinking. I suspect it would have spoiled the fun they had rehashing the subject every spring. There are still plenty of folk who plant by the signs in Appalachia. Here’s a quick primer, in case you want to give it a try this year: Plant ABOVE ground crops when the moon is waxing (getting bigger). Things like peas, lettuce, tomatoes, squash, etc. Plant BELOW ground crops when the moon is waning (getting smaller). Things like potatoes, carrots, turnips, etc. That’s the BASIC rule. Now, let’s look at the signs. Each month, the moon passes through each of the 12 signs of the Zodiac, which can be divided into four elements: Water – Cancer, Pisces, Scorpio Earth – Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn Fire – Leo, Ares, Sagittarius Air – Gemini, Aquarius, Libra Water and Earth are FERTILE elements while Fire and Air are BARREN elements. Generally speaking, you want to plant […]
I’m SO excited to be presenting at this year’s WV Writers Summer Conference! I so enjoy talking writing and sharing what I’ve learned thus far, but to do it back home in West Virginia . . . well, you can’t beat that with a stick! PLUS, I’m hoping I can sit in on sessions being led by some of the […]
North America has Bigfoot. Nepal has the Abominable Snowman. Ireland their Banshees. Everywhere you go, there are monster stories. Well, West Virginia is not one to be left out. My home state has several mythical monsters of its own. Our uniquely Appalachian monsters include . . . The Mothman – This is the legend that inspired a 2002 movie starring […]