I woke up this morning in a horrible mood. Well, I am not sure that “waking up” was actually part of the equation as I had been awake for the most of the night. There were some bad dreams and the weather was horrible, with pelting rain and thunder and lighting. The cats were none too pleased about the whole thing and I just didn’t get a good night’s rest. I felt completely discombobulated.
But for me there is something about being in the kitchen that allows me to reset. So I did just that, even though it was a busy morning with my “real life”. I love pie but didn’t really have enough apples for just a regular apple pie, but I did have a jar of tart cherries. I steeped them in some whiskey as I was making the pastry and voila: Apple Pie with Whiskey Soaked Tart Cherries. The flowers are intended to be cherry blossoms, because it is, in theory, that time of year. Oh, and it stopped raining, and my mood has improved.
Things to do with Ramps, Part 2: Make pasta. Yes, I’ve been on a bit of a pasta making kick these days anyway, but I figured that this wouold be a good experiment to see if the rampiness-flavor would shine though, even if you make pasta out of it. And I am happy to report that it does, almost to the point where it didn’t need any more dressing up, so I just rendered some panchetta and added some parm, and voila.
As always, my home made pasta directions are designed to use an old-fashioned hand-crank pasta machine. I don’t use my KitchenAid for this, but I am sure that you could. Just follow those directions staring with paragraph three.
My nickname from my Omi (grandmother) in Germany when I was little was “Schneckennudel”, which is a compound word (snail + noodle) which means, in essence, Cinnamon Roll. Not getting into the technicalities, but they are more like a Pain aux Raisin in Germany, but still. Ever since then, I think of my Omi when I make somethng like these for breakfast.
I drizzled honey over these swirls when I took them out of the oven, but maple syrup woould also be pretty great.
Things to do with Ramps, Part 1: Two thinks that I love are Chimichurri (Sauce) and Ramps (German: Bärlauch). If you don’t know what chimichurri is, the short answer is that it is a green sauce made of herbs, garlic, some acid (i.e. lemon or lime juice or vinegar), chiles (fresh or dried) and olive oil. Typically the herbs are parsley, and sometimes cilantro/coriander and sometimes oregano. It originates from Argentina, when it is traditionally put on steak, but it certainly can be put on other things. You’ll see a few examples of that in the next few days here.
My other love is ramps, which are also called wild garlic, ramsons, bear’s garlic, wild leeks, wild onions, bear’s weed, etc. In German, it is called Bärlauch and is one of those “must eat” things in the Spring (they are only available for a few short weeks). Anyway, given that I have a bunch of ramps, and it is Spring, I decided to add some of these to my latest batch of chimichurri. Huge success.
Here is my weekly contribution to the world of Internet Cookie Recipes. A twist on either your standard chocolate chip cookie or a twist on the good old cookie of the Oatmeal variety, this combines the best of both worlds, and adds some toffee bits and dried cranberries to boot. I have to say that these are some of the easiest cookies in the world to make to you don’t have an excuse not to grab your mixer and cookie sheets!
Note: I wanted to make these very much like Florentine cookies — i.e. very thin and flat. If you want a thicker cookie, with more chew, cool the cookie dough in the fridge for an hour or so before baking.