Monday, May 01, 2006

Ramps, Camping, and Old-Time Music

Ramps in their native habitat

Last weekend, we returned to Williams River to dig ramps, cook them, play music, and camp with our friends from Greenbrier County. In the last five years that I've gone, it's always been cloudy, rainy, cold, or snowing. This past weekend was sunny and delightful, and I took lots of pictures.

Above, you see ramps in their native habitat; here this includes some lovely dutchman's britches. Below are washed ramps, ready to cut up and cook, and below that, you see some of the cooking crew at work.

Ramps are more than a tasty spring treat; they are an Appalachian cultural phenomenon, and I'm afraid I'm not qualified to explain it. I'm just pleased to participate. As you can see, they are a sort of wild leek, and they are delicious cooked in eggs, potatoes, meatloaf, or on their own, as a vegetable dish. They are good raw, too, but they linger on your breath and your skin for days, like garlic, but much more pungent, so you need to make sure all your family eats them raw at the same time.

Ramps washed and ready to cut up Ramp cleaning crew

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