Lavender Tea Workshop

Title: Lavender Tea Workshop
Location: Wild Ramp at 555 14th Street West Huntington WV 25701
Description: Have the winter blues? Well, we have the winter purples. To be more specific-Lavender.
Join us Saturday, February 13th at 11:00am for a Lavender Tea & Workshop.

Sample a variety of savory and sweet culinary delights infused with lavender. Learn about growing, using and cooking with lavender.
Have you always wanted to grow lavender, but didn’t have good success? Find out the best lavender varities to grow for our region and what the soil requirements are for producing a good crop. Hear from avid Lavender growers in and around the Tri-State area.
The cost is $25 per person with a class limit of 12. Our “Friends of the Market” receive a 15% discount. Participants must sign up and pay by February 6th. We can take payment with Credit Card over the phone 304-523-7267. This class is non-refundable and cannot be used toward future classes.
Start Time: 11:00
Date: 2016-02-13
End Time: 14:00

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New Year brings New Ideas

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Well the New Year often brings new ideas and as you might have noticed, the website is looking different and some of the pages are not working properly. That is my fault. We are working to create a better website … Continue reading

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Ramp it up!

Ramp it Up

By Susan Maslowski

Ramps are one of the first harbingers of spring and the time to enjoy them is very short. If you like ramps, this is the time to “ramp it up.” The Wild Ramp now has ramps in stock. Most people in this region have heard of ramps, that wild broadleaf cross between garlic and onions. They are a part of our local heritage.

There are many ways to fix ramps. They can be used in place of onions, leeks, scallions and/or garlic in recipes. Diced ramps can be added to omelets. They can be made into a pesto. The bulbs can be pickled. They can be slightly grilled and will make any burger taste so much better. They can be added to pasta and mashed potatoes. You can even eat them raw, if you dare!

Do not forget the upcoming inaugural Stink Fest at The Wild Ramp on April 18, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Different ramp dishes from several food vendors will be available. There will be samples, games, and music. Come out and join us to celebrate the King of Stink! And, in the meantime, whip up some Ramp & Cheddar Biscuits. They are good slathered with butter or, as a breakfast sandwich, topped with a sausage patty from one of our producers.

 

Ramp biscuits

Ramp & Cheddar Biscuits

 

1-1/4 cups self-rising flour

¾ cup pastry flour (or cake flour)

¾ teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

4 tablespoons butter

½ cup Half & Half (plus more as needed)

½ cup fresh ramp leaves, diced

½ cup cheddar cheese, grated

Extra flour for dusting

2 teaspoons butter, melted

 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Stir dry ingredients together. Cut in 4 tablespoons butter until mixture is of course texture like cornmeal. Pour in Half & Half. Stir with a wooden spoon until dough begins to form. Add extra, as needed, until dough is no longer crumbly. Blend in ramp leaves and cheese. (The dough will be a little sticky.)

Sprinkle extra flour onto the countertop and put dough on top. Sprinkle more flour on top and roll to about ¾-inch thick. Cut with a biscuit cutter. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Brush melted butter on top of biscuits. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until browned on top.

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Lamb Meatballs

Lamb Meatballs

Lamb Meatballs

Lamb Meatballs

By Susan Maslowski

I recently purchased ground lamb at The Wild Ramp. Domestically raised lamb is often difficult to find, so I am glad to have a local source. (Half of the lamb consumed in the United States is imported with most coming from Australia and New Zealand.) Lamb comes from young sheep that are less than a year old. Domestically raised lamb is mild-flavored. It is very healthful and delicious.

Ground lamb can be substituted in any recipe that calls for ground beef. Sometimes I like to blend a little of both. This lamb meatball recipe is a favorite. The meatballs are best if the mixture is prepared and refrigerated for an hour or more to allow the flavors to meld. These meatballs can be served as an appetizer or a main course. Leftovers are good, too, so make extra.

Lamb Meatballs
1 pound ground lamb or beef (or a mixture of both)
1 small onion, minced
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint (or 1 teaspoon dried)
¼ teaspoon cayenne
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper

Combine the meat, onion, parsley, mint, spices, salt and pepper. Mix well.Refrigerate mixture for at least an hour to allow flavors to meld. Form mixture into 1-inch meatballs and place on a skewer. Cook on a preheated grill 8 to 10 minutes (or until done), turning once. Serve with rice, pita bread, hummus and feta cheese.

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St. Patrick’s Day Colcannon

The newest addition to The Wild Ramp staff, Jill, shared an excellent recipe with the rest of us today.

St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner, and the market is currently stocked with everything you need to have a great themed meal.

colcannon pic

Before we go into the recipe, let us tell you about the scarf featured in the picture! The brothers, Kevin and Chris Toney of Silver Run Ranch have been working hard to weave beautiful scarves, ponchos, shawls and blankets. They raise happy alpacas and are affiliated as a Kentucky Proud vendor. After using natural colors to hand dye their yarn, they create lovely garments by hand weaving on looms they build. Truly, the Toney brothers embody the spirit of being an artisan.

Also, they are running a special St. Patrick’s Day Sale! $10 off any scarf or shawl, a wonderful deal!

Colcannon Recipe
Adapted from the Irish Colcannon recipe on whatscookingamerica.net

Ingredients:
1 1/3 pounds (4 medium) Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes washed, peeled, and cut into uniform 2-inch chunks*
1 teaspoon salt
4 to 6 tablespoons warm butter
1/2 to 2/3 cup hot whipping cream
4 strips thick-cut bacon
1/2 bunch of curly kale, washed, de-stemmed, and chopped
Several cloves of garlic finely chopped
4 green onions stalks (1/2 cup,) finely chopped (divided)
Salt and Pepper to taste

 

Mashed Potato Preparation:

In large saucepan, add cut-up potatoes, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and just enough cold water until potatoes are covered; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; cover and let simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork.

While potatoes are cooking, either in another saucepan or microwave, heat butter. Also heat hot milk or saucepan or microwave.

When the potatoes are cooked, remove from heat and immediately drain potatoes thoroughly in a colander. Return to saucepan; heat over medium-low heat approximately 1 to 2 minutes to dry potatoes, stirring occasionally.

In the same saucepan that the potatoes have been heated in, mash potatoes with a potato masher or potato ricer until there are few lumps. Stir in warm butter, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 cup of the hot cream. Add additional cream, a little at a time, if necessary, for desired consistency.

Season to taste with additional salt, if desired.
Colcannon Preparation:

While potatoes are cooking, in large skillet over medium-high heat, start cooking the bacon strips until bacon is crisp. Remove the bacon and set aside on a plate with paper towels. Drain off most of the bacon fat, until there is enough left to coat the bottom of the skillet.

Add the kale and to the skillet and sauté for approximately 5 to 7 minutes or until the kale is completely cooked and shriveled. 3 or 4 minutes into cooking the kale, add the garlic and continue to sauté. Remove the kale and garlic from the skillet and set aside on a cutting board to cool down. Once it has have cooled down enough to touch, use a knife to finely dice the mixture.

Crumble the bacon into small pieces and set aside 1 teaspoon of the bacon pieces along with 1 teaspoon of diced green onions for garnishment.

Stir the kale mixture, remaining bacon pieces and green onions into the mashed potatoes until well blended. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.

Spoon Colcannon into large serving bowl and sprinkle with reserved bacon crumbles and diced green onions mixture.

Serve immediately

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

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Jelly-filled Valentine Cookies

Jelly-filled Valentine Cookies

By Susan Maslowski

There are many ways of celebrating Valentine’s Day. Flowers, jewelry, chocolates and cards expressing affection are exchanged between loved ones. One of the best ways to show those you love just how much you care is to make your gifts. What could be sweeter than a box of jelly-filled Valentine cookies?

The Wild Ramp has several of the ingredients needed to create these classic treats, which are fun, easy to make and enjoyable to eat. Cookies are truly one of life’s simple pleasures that make an irresistible Valentine’s Day gift.

Keep this recipe on file, because it can easily be adapted for other occasions. For St. Patrick’s Day or Derby Day, the cookies could be filled with mint jelly and the tops sprinkled with Mint Julep sugar, produced by Heart of Bourbon Country, available at The Wild Ramp.

Jelly Cookies

Jelly-filled Valentine Cookies

Cream 2/3 cup shortening and ¾ cup sugar.
Add 1 egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
Beat well.
Sift together 2 cups flour, 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder, and ¼ teaspoon salt.
Stir into creamed mixture.
Add 4 teaspoons milk.
Divide dough in half.
Chill 1 hour.
On waxed paper, lightly sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar, roll dough to 1/8-inch thickness.
Cut out cookies.
Cut out centers in half of the cookies.
Bake on a greased cookie sheet at 375 degrees for 7 to 10 minutes. Cool.
Spread whole cookies with tart red jelly.
Press cut out cookie on top.
Sift confectioners’ sugar over cookie.

Enjoy!

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Crème Fraîche: French-Style Cultured Cream

Hi! My name is Susan Maslowski and, occasionally, I will be contributing to The Wild Ramp blog. I am a potter and I sell my utilitarian wheel-thrown stoneware at The Wild Ramp. I have been an avid gardener since moving to Cabell County in 1975 and recently completed Master Gardener certification in Kanawha County. I enjoy cooking using fresh local products. I write a food column for Metro Putnam and Kanawha Valley Neighbors, weekly Charleston Gazette supplements. The recipes are tested and photographed in my own kitchen before they go to print. From time to time, I plan to share columns that feature an item or items available at The Wild Ramp. This celery soup recipe is delicious, especially with the addition of Snowville Creamery crème fraiche. I am very excited to be able to share my love of cooking with you and I hope you will try some of the recipes.

 

Celery Soup

 

Crème Fraîche: French-Style Cultured Cream

 By Susan Maslowski

Developed in France, crème fraiche is a creamier version of sour cream.

Crème fraiche is not an ingredient that I keep on hand, although I always have a tub of sour cream in the refrigerator.

Crème fraiche is produced by adding a bacterial culture to heavy cream, which contributes to its tanginess. It does not contain added thickeners. Sour cream might have ingredients like gelatin, rennin and vegetable enzymes to stabilize it and make it more viscous.

Crème fraiche can also be made at home with heavy cream and buttermilk, but I’ve never taken the time to make it. It is allowed to stand at a certain temperature until it thickens.

This product is becoming more popular and easier to find at local supermarkets. I was delighted to find Snowville Creamery crème fraiche at The Wild Ramp recently.

Crème fraiche can be used interchangeably with sour cream in recipes, but there is a noticeable difference between the two. One advantage of using crème fraiche in cooked soups and sauces is that it does not break down or curdle, since it contains about thirty to forty-five percent butterfat.

Crème fraiche can be used as a topping for savory and sweet dishes. Some like to whip it with powdered sugar and vanilla to serve with berries or fruit.

Naturally, I was excited to try several recipes calling for crème fraiche. Celery Soup with Bacon Croutons was first on the list.

I’ve never been a fan of celery soup, because the only celery soup I’ve tasted was from a can. This recipe calls for leeks, something I’d frozen from the summer garden. Since the soup was to be pureed, I saw no need to use fresh.

There is a world of difference between this homemade celery soup and the condensed canned version. My husband and I became instant fans. We had enough left for a second meal and my husband declared it was even better rewarmed and served the following day. The addition of the crème fraiche added a creamy richness and depth of flavor.

Nothing more than a bowl of this soup is needed to make a satisfying lunch, unless you want to add a citrusy glass of Chardonnay.

Celery Soup with Bacon Croutons

3 tablespoons butter
2 leeks, halved and sliced
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 celery ribs (approximately 1 lb.), thinly sliced
4 cups broth (vegetable or chicken)
4 slices bacon
Two slices country bread, cut into cubes
1/3 cup crème fraiche
Salt
Pepper
Olive oil

 

In a large saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add the leeks, onions and garlic. Cook over moderate heat until softened but not browned, about 10 minutes. Add the celery and cook until it begins to soften, about 4 minutes. Add 4 cups of broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender (about 35 minutes).

Cook bacon slices in a skillet until brown and crisp. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in the bacon fat. Ad bread cubes and cook until browned and crisp (about 8 minutes). Transfer to paper-towel lined plate.

Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until smooth. Return the soup to the saucepan. Whisk in crème fraiche. Season with salt and pepper, as desired.

Serve the celery soup hot, topped with crumbled bacon, croutons and a drizzle of olive oil.

This soup can be refrigerated and reheated.

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Open House: Meet your local neighborhood feed store, Duncan Box!

Place: The Wild Ramp
555 14th Street West
Huntington, WV 25701
Date: Wednesday, January 28
Time: 6:00pm-8:00pm
Phone: 304-523-RAMP

The Wild Ramp is having an Open House and you are invited! This meeting is free and open to the public. Duncan Box & Lumber Co. is pleased to announce that they are now selling animal feed. They will also present their plans for the upcoming growing season. Duncan Box plans to sell a variety of vegetable seeds and plants in addition to animal feed. They are conveniently located down the street from The Wild Ramp.

Feedback from farmers and the community is welcome and encouraged.

Duncan Box is offering an exclusive discount on all feed/seeds for Wild Ramp Producers.

Kalmbach Feeds, supplier for Duncan Box, will be present to talk about all of their animal feed. Dr. Nancy Buchanan, a poultry nutrition specialist with Kalmbach Feeds, will be present to discuss:

  • Niche marketing at farmers markets, restaurants and direct to consumer sales.
  • Conventional and organic feeds.
  • Different breeds of chickens, including those kept exclusively for egg production, those raised for meat production only, and the dual purpose breeds.

Nancy Buchanan Jefferson grew up in Lesage, WV and received her PhD from West Virginia University in 2008. She currently lives on a farm in Gallia County, OH.

More information can be found at: “www.kalmbachfeeds.com”

Don’t forget to like us on facebook!
www.facebook.com/HuntingtonLocalFoodMarket
www.facebook.com/pages/Duncan-Box-and-Lumber-Co-LLC/225821894162316

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