We're an ordinary family, complete with picky eaters, budget concerns, and time management issues. But to prove that "eating local" works - even for busy families in cooler climates - we're trading Chick-Fil-A and goldfish crackers for grassfed meat and local produce. Join our adventure in learning to eat (sort of) sustainably for the summer!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Strike while the iron is hot

It occurred to me while eating dinner tonight that the recipe, which called for both ramps and morels, could really only be made during a two- or three-week timeframe each spring when the seasons for those two ephemeral foraging favorites coincide. Nothing like hanging onto a recipe that's essentially useless 50 weeks out of every year!

I made the recipe to use some of my CSA bag's prolific portion of ramps. But I don't particularly like morels, especially at $60 for a large paper plate full of them from the farmers' market, so I replaced them with some white oyster mushrooms ($10 a pound at the farmers' market).  Other modifications to the recipe were based on laziness - I didn't have mascarpone cheese, so I left that out and subbed Parmesan for the Pecorino cheese called for in the recipe.  And I didn't have orecchiette, either, so we used cheese ravioli from Ohio City Pasta.  I think the creaminess from the ravioli filling helped make up for the lack of mascarpone ... or at least that's what I'm telling myself, that and "Hey, at least you didn't have to make a special trip to the grocery store on a weekend just for one container of cheese and a bag of pasta!"

One thing I learned while making this recipe is that the leaves of the ramps really are very mild in flavor.  The recipe has you separate them from the bulbs, cook the bulbs as you would onions or garlic, and add the roughly chopped leaves at the end as you would spinach or other tender greens.  The cooked leaves had a delicate onion/garlic flavor, much lighter and less in-your-face than that of the bulbs.  I'll definitely keep that in mind, because this time of year it's nice to have some interesting greens to throw into soup or salads.

In other news, IT'S ASPARAGUS SEASON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I seriously have to stop typing so I have time to drive up to Avon to buy some local asparagus, which I will store in a vase of water at work until I can come home and totally eat an entire bunch myself because Jason isn't coming home for dinner tonight .... bwahahahahahahahaha!

Sunday, April 15, 2012


"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance." - Thomas Jefferson

"The price of freedom from broadleaf weed killers is eternal vigilance with a dandelion fork in your hand.". - Gretchen Woods

(I'm avoiding Round-Up and full-lawn herbicide applications for as long as I can this year, because i'm trying to be all sustainable and stuff ... plus, I don't want the chemicals to confuse my violets with weeds.)