Ah! Ramp season is here!

Earlier this afternoon, a strong odor filled my tiny kitchen and living room as I stood at the sink rinsing away mud, and slicing the ends off of what my husband calls “a pretty decent mess” of ramps. This is my first time cleaning and storing them. I met my husband in 2005. I was simply amazed at all of the little “things” his family taught me, and still am to this day. When I married into this family in 2008, I never would’ve dreamed I’d adapt, much less embrace, their traditions. But here I am! As I write this, I reek of the garlicy odor ramps leave on your hands, your breath, and even lingering in your home.

This past weekend, on a Saturday afternoon, my husband invited me and the children to go ramp digging with him. We were all dressed and in the truck within ten minutes. This is something he normally does with his brothers or friends, but this time we got to go! I must say that I absolutely loved every minute of it. There is nothing quite as memorable as going out into the forest with your family, foraging food. This day and time, as we all know, the world moves at a quick pace offering so many conveniences that old traditions are lost. My fingers were a little sore from using my hands as little shovels, plucking the ramps up out of the moist soil. And the cleaning process is a little lengthy. After a good cool bath, I rinsed them thoroughly and sliced the root off the end. Once they dry, I’ll lay them flat in a gallon size Ziploc freezer bag and store them for later use. Otherwise they’d go bad before we could eat them all.

I realize now just how lucky we are to live in a part of the world that offers a wild and delicious onion that doubles as an opportunity for quality family time and memories!