I Am a Ramphead. Are You?

I didn't know about ramps (aka wild leeks, scapes) until east coast friends posted about them on Facebook. 
I didn't know that they grew in the woods in my mom's backyard until April 2014. 
You see, as a kid, we always went to Barneveld in the summer -- we lived on prep school campuses during the school year. 
I had NO CLUE about ramps!
(They probably grow in Sheffield, MA and Millbrook, NY too. No clue, people, no clue!)

Two years ago, I found what looked like ramps at my mom's.
I picked a few -- oh, the aroma!
I then chopped one onto my salad and I joined the cult.
I love garlic, I love onions, OK, I love the whole edible allium family.
No going back at this point.

Ramps grow in the wild, in mature, deciduous woods, appearing in April (in Central NY).
What is the best way to extend "ramp season", since they only last for a few weeks?
I've found recipes for Ramp Jam, Ramp Butter, Pickled Ramps (which I made last year), etc.
They mellow when cooked, and can be substituted for green onions if you want a little more punch.

Me, I prefer the stinky experience of raw ramps.
(Plus I don't have the luxury of endless ramps that my mom has).
My favorite recipe so far is Ramp Pesto, which can be frozen.
A jar joined me on the second leg of my circumnavigation of the US and lasted all the way home.
Ramp Pesto on the sill, Cut Bank, MT, 2014
This year's ramps, last year's pesto.
Ramp Pesto (from Chloe)
Chop equal amounts of: • Ramps
• Parsley (Italian is preferred)
• Basil
Mince in a food processor with • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Add • Ground Parmesan or Romano or combo to taste. • Pinenuts (optional, I don't bother)
Pulse to integrate.
Store in a jar in fridge. Can be frozen.


A Date With the Past

Stan Ridgway played the Ruth B. Shannon Center for the Performing Arts in Whittier last Saturday.
 I've been a HUGE fan since ye olden days.
The gig was part of a writers' conference at Whittier College, there was a Q&A with Stan beforehand. I jetted out of class at Otis (my students hate me now -- I've rushed out of class the past two weeks) to get to Whittier, meet up with my pal Dez, and get to the venue by 5.
Mission accomplished!

"Absolutely no photos allowed during the performance"
Empty stage with weird covered monoliths as a backdrop. What were they? 
Stan was in fine form, playing both hits and deep cuts. He was accompanied by Pietra Wexstun on vocals, electronics, and keyboards, and Rick King on guitar.

Afterwards, we got on the meet and greet line so that Dez could get a CD signed and ask Stan a question that she was unable to ask earlier.
"Who is your favorite monster?"
"Frankenstein. He was so childlike."
Thanks Stan!

I'm brewing up a Wall of Voodoo/ Stan Ridgway nostalgia project for SpyGirl, my fashion blog.
Expect it in May or June.
"I'll do it tomorrow..."