Blogs

On a Rampage with Ramps

If you walk alongside waterways in the American East, you may see bright green blades protruding up from the leaf cover this time of year. Ramps, or wild leeks, are one of the earliest wild foods to forage, and a great delicacy they are. They're the surest sign that spring is really ramping up.

Foraging Ramps
Foraging Ramps
Ramps are one of the easiest and most rewarding wild foods to forage, but their popularity has put them at risk. Learn how to identify them, and what measures to take to prevent overharvesting. (Image via Garden of Eating)

Read More >

Three Things Thursday: Peaness Edition

Once again it's Three Things Thursday. This week, I'm focusing on the darling vegetable of spring, peas. Whether pickled, pestoed or pulverized into a hummus, here are three ways to embrace the peaness.

Pickled Peas
Pickled Peas
Whether zippy little orbs that burst like bubbles or crisp sweet pods that snap, crackle and pop, pickled peas make a potently piquant player in salads or just as a snack. Image via Simplest Things.

Read More >

Respect Your Elderflowers

Sweetly aromatic heads of elderflowers are cropping up all over. Capture their springlike essence while you can with these DIY elderflower projects.

Elderflower Liqueur
Elderflower Liqueur
St. Germain sure does come in a pretty bottle, but you can make your own for a fraction the cost. DIY St. Germain FTW! (Image via Well Hung Food)

Read More >

We're Frond of Fennel

Fresh, crisp fennel bulbs are the harbingers of spring with their lighly licorice-y flavor. We love them straight up, but they also play nicely in a variety of applications. Here's a few of our favorites.

Pickled Fennel
Pickled Fennel
Boy, are we frond of pickling fennel. Pickling enhances the natural sweetness of the bulb, especially when pickled with beets, or with fennel seed to kick up the licorice quotient. (Image via Tasting Table)

Read More >

Craftcation 2014

Thanks to all who attended my sessions at Craftcation 2014. Here are notes and resources for my two DIY panels.

Put Up a Peck of Peppers:

Recipes:Read More >

Stalking Rhubarb

Rhubarb is the darling of spring. These sour stalks are techincally a vegetable, but their tart taste lends them to applications more common with fruit. What can you do with it? What can't you do? Here's a whole bunch of ideas.

Canned Rhubarb
Canned Rhubarb
Can the stalks in syrup to have on hand for multiple purposes in the future, like pies, ice cream and cocktails. (Image via One Tomato Two Tomato)
Freezing Rhubarb
Freezing Rhubarb
Or, just freeze it off in chunks, and scoop out as much as you need. (Image via Delectable Musings)
Dried Rhubarb
Dried Rhubarb
Rhubarb can also be dehydrated, to make it shelf stable (and take up less space besides.) (Image via Little Miss Cruciferous)

Read More >

Brussels Sprouts Four Ways

Wee little cabbages, Brussels sprouts are good for more than just roasting. Here's a few ways to make these brainy brassicas into tangy treats.

Pickled Brussels Sprouts
Pickled Brussels Sprouts
Pickle them up in a brine -- especially a spicy one -- to retain their crispness. Better yet, mix them up with asparagus and pearl onions for the ultimate Bloody Mary garnish mix. (Image via Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking)

Read More >

Nothing but Nettles

One of the earliest foraged foods of spring, stinging nettles are cropping up in forests and alongside streams all over. These prickly plants require a little special handling (they're called stinging nettles for a reason, after all), but once their formic acid-laden hairs have been tamed, nettles are quite delicious, and remarkably nutritious, making them one of the best foraged foods around.

Foraging Nettles
Foraging Nettles
Know how and where to find and identify wild nettles, and how to process them once you harvest them -- and don't forget the gloves! (Image via Make and Rake)

Read More >

Three Things Thursday: The Goodness of Guinness

Once again it's Three Things Thursday. This week, I'm focusing on ways to use the classic Irish stout Guinness in other ways than simply drinking it. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

Guinness Chocolate Spread
Guinness Chocolate Spread
Everyone's favorite chocolate-nut spread gets a grown-up twist with a shot of Ireland's favorite dark beer. From Larder Love.

Read More >

DIY Maple Syrup: We'd Tap That

When the nights are still cold but days begin to warm, sap rises in the maple trees, and it's time to tap into this sweet resource. Even if you live in a fairly urban setting, you may be able to tap your own and boil it off for some DIY syrup. Your pancakes will thank you.

Maple Tapping
Maple Tapping
Drill a hole in the maple trunk, hammer in a tap, hang a bucket, and wait. Each day you'll collect a bucket of maple sap. (Image via Homegrown.org)
Sugaring Off
Sugaring Off
The sap is drinkable (and delicious!) on its own, but if you want to turn it into syrup you'll need to boil it off. It takes a lot -- about 40 parts sap will become 1 part syrup. (Image via Putting Up With the Turnbulls)
DIY Maple Evaporator
You can do the boiling in your own kitchen, but odds are you don't have enough space, and the amount of steam it kicks off can peel wallpaper. Make your own evaporator outside and boil off in big batches. Here's how. (Image via From Scratch Club)

Read More >