Saturday, May 22, 2010

Rampacious Behavior

I've written about my new assistant, Abby, and here she is, stuffing ramps into jars this morning.  Adam, the chef in the Barn, ordered 400 pounds of ramps and asked me to pickle them.  We've been working on them for three days now, and today was the big push to finish them.
Dustin, former sous chef at the Barn, is now the Larder Roundsman.  That means if the cheesemaker, the butcher or I need help, we call for Dustin.  Notice the difference in ramp-stuffing technique.  I'd like to say it's a fine art, but it's not.  They smell badly and we wanted very much to be done.
And now we are:  96 jars today, 62 yesterday and 32 the day before.  If anyone ever asks you how many jars of pickled ramps you can get from 400 pounds, you now know.  The first 94 jars were pint jars, and today's were quart jars.  The most important thing is that my monthly pickle production goal is done, thanks to ramps.  If anyone gives you a bunch of ramps, pickle them like this:

4 pounds ramps, greens and roots trimmed
4 cups white distilled vinegar
1 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup pickling spice, in a cheesecloth bag
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes per jar
1/2 bay leaf per jar
1 garlic clove per jar

Put ramps in sterilized jars, tightly packed.  Add the spices and garlic to each jar.  Bring vinegars, salt, sugar and bag of spice to a full boil.  Remove from heat and let steep for 5 minutes.  Pour hot brine over ramps in jars to within 1/4 inch of the top of the jar.  Close lids tightly and place jars in a pan of boiling water, with 1/2 inch of water over the tops of the jars.  Boil for 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of the jars.  Let jars sit in hot water for 5 more minutes, then let cool completely before storing.  Allow to pickle for about 3 weeks before enjoying!

Also in my news is that I've finished LouAnn's color and have started Bonnie's.  After the cool, calming effect of LouAnn's color, Bonnie's was a bit intense, but I've begun to like it now.  I'm almost done with the first rectangle, in fact.  Pat's pretty pink is next!


LA said...

Ramps are really strong...I never developed a taste for them! But, a lot of people like them, and, like to cook with them. I'll be glad to get my afghan project on the loom and woven!!!!

Theresa said...

I like ramps, although I haven't had any in years.
The weaving looks wonderful, I like the cheery colors.

Tina said...

Ramps are not my cup of tea! I love the pattern on your project. I am not sure exactly what your project is but it is beautiful!

Bonnie said...

I can't say that I have ever had a ramp. I don't know what they are. Your pattern really shows up on my color. I want to get started on my afghan squares. I am just really confused about the whole thing.