Tuesday, May 6, 2014

a country weekend


Ramps (wild leeks) grow rampantly on our property in the Catskills. They've become quite trendy, with several articles already written about them in this spring's NY Times. Last weekend we pulled (oops, I mean harvested) some and cooked a ramps themed dinner. Rather, Bob did, with some help from Luke.   Luke made some fresh farmers cheese, served on slices of bread with ramp jam and pickled ramps. He also grilled ramps to be served with Bob's cream of ramp soup, kale with ramps, ramp risotto, and chicken cooked with, you guessed it, ramps. I drew the line at ramp desserts (having once had a garlic dinner that carried through dessert) so we had fruit cobbler with sour cream ice cream. Then after we'd all (several friends joined us) digested a little and laughed a lot, we passed around the chocolate ice cream Matt made.


What did I do? Stayed out of the kitchen. Visited friends. Read. Took a nap. Set the table. Washed lots and lots of dishes and pots and pans and strainers and blenders and…..


 I hung up one of my paintings, a big step for me, because I am pretty shy about my creative endeavors. But it's a good spot for all those greens, there in the house in the woods.


Keeping company with lilacs, roses and hyacinths, from my Bow Street Flowers trip.
Some people take their pets when they travel. I take my flowers.

30 comments:

  1. I seriously love how your painting looks hanging there on your wall. Very nice Jen!
    As for the leeks, oops sorry Ramps, I just don't know about an entire dinner of Ramp dishes. Thank goodness you had a nice desert.

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    1. I have to say, the boys used a pretty light hand in the flavoring, so the ramp (dumb word for it) flavor wasn't overwhelming. The chocolate ice cream was a nice contrast.

      I appreciate your thoughts about the painting. I do love that one, but it certainly won't appeal to all. I hope it didn't sound like I'm fishing for compliments! xo

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  2. I agree about your placing of your painting. I see that the bits of blue pick up the blues in the rug. I understand that if everyone is eating ramps, no one's breath smells bad. Sounds like you all had a very good time.

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    1. Thanks, Karen. We had mini toothbrushes as party favors. (kidding)

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  3. Hello Jen:

    The wild garlic is widely grown in Hungary although we doubt that it is used quite as imaginatively as by your family!! That said, on Good Friday we had the most delicious cream of garlic soup in a country restaurant. Perfection.

    Your painting, which we very much like, looks to be well placed in the dining room with the wonderful red chairs.

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    1. The soup, which had wild rice in it, was my favorite part of the meal, along with the ramp jam. Now I want to got to a country restaurant in Hungary!

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  4. Wonderful glimpse of your passing time in Catshill. Creative dishes, creative arrangement of the room. Thank you so much for sharing with us.

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    1. You are most welcome, my friend.

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  5. the painting looks fantastic where it is. no need to be shy about it, even though I very much get where you are coming from. loved reading about your food-coma inducing weekend too. sounds like fun xoxo

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    1. Thanks so much Petra. Coma indeed!

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  6. What a trendy weekend in the Catskills!

    All sounds delicious though. I have a garden full of wild onions....your boys are welcome any time.

    And I love your painting and think it looks quite at home in the country.

    No, it doesn't sound like you're fishing, just sharing.

    And that's what we do here, right?

    xo J

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    1. Trendy, that's me. My secret is out!

      It's pretty amazing what we do here. You, of course, are my guiding light.

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  7. Hello Jen, Those ramps also grow extensively in the Ohio woods, along with a number of other wild members of the garlic/onion family. It seems that they continue to flourish even when other common, but more delicate plants are becoming rarer.

    About your painting, it is both calming and refreshing--I could easily imagine finding a place for it in my own house.
    --Jim

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    1. Eek, onions and cockroaches will survive he apocalypse!

      Thank you so much for your kind words about my painting.

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  8. I've heard of ramps and now that I've seen yours, I've noticed them out in the woods in Lexington and just didn't know what they were. I love that you used them in such a fun way with your ramp dinner. Everything they made sounds delicious.

    I'm happy to see you painting hung in a place where it can be enjoyed. And how cool is that Jetson's vase underneath it?

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  9. that sounds like a heavenly weekend to me. and of course you should always travel with flowers in hand....I picked flowers from a rest stop in Tennessee and they travelled in a gas station cup all the way here.

    you painting is striking above the two green vases. xo

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    1. I once rode in an ancient Mercedes that had a built in vase!

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  10. The painting looks beautiful in your dining room, fits right in with all the other lovely things. Jealous that you are growing, if mistakenly, ramps all over the place, they are yummy. Cut my first lilacs today for my desk at the office, everyone had to stop by.

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    1. Oh, lilacs. I will trade you ramps for lilacs any day.

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  11. Jen..the ramp trend, or kale for that matter, has not made its way to my South Georgia table. I am in awe of your husband and son's versatility with these trendy veggies! Now, Luke must share his recipe for ramp jam...or maybe just Matt's chocolate ice cream! Your painting is the perfect addition to your refuge in the woods! Thanks for sharing...

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    1. Hmm. I thought kale was a southern thing. Maybe I'm thinking of collards, confusing my dark, leafy, bitter greens. I'll talk to the boys about revealing their recipes. I'm very excited because Matt's making me lemon ice cream (my favorite) for Mother's Day.

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    2. Yes, it's collards and turnips that are Southern mainstays!

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  12. Perfect spot for your lovely painting.
    The menu sounds delicious ... my man does the cooking too, whilst I set the table and wash up. M x

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  13. ooh the dinner sounds delish, and good call on the no-ramp dessert. lines have to be drawn.

    you picked just the right spot for your painting (and congrats on getting up there on display, i know that first step well).

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  14. Jen I love that painting, greens are my favourites.

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  15. You should so not be shy about your creative endeavours and your dinner sounds lovely! xx

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