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Spring Tonic Time

May 1, 2012

Spring tonics have been used in many cultures to help get people moving again after a winter’s sedentary indoor living. Part of the tonic, in the biodiverse Appalachian Mountains, was to search for the fresh greens appearing in the wild, the ramp being the goal at this season.

A Fancy Ramp Dinner:  Celebrating Spring Tonics

Saturday May 19, 2012

Fish Hawk Acres in Rock Cave, West Virginia

1-4 PM

A Benefit for the New Appalachian Farm & Research Center

A 501 (c) 3 non profit whose mission is to support the agricultural community’s efforts of supporting a local food system for West Virginia

Menu

Welcome Beverage:  Rhubarb Mule

Green Garlic and Ramp Baguette

Cheddar-Parmesan Scones with Fresh Dill

Ramp Chowder

Bad Ass Beet Salad with Orange Segments, Pea Tendrils

Carved Flank Steak with Caramelized Ramps & Mollie Moochers

Apple Wood Smoked Salmon

Chilled Asparagus Salad

Warm Potato Salad (German Style)

Sugar Snap Peas and Roasted Baby Carrots

Strawberry Rhubarb Tart with Lemon Curd

Herbal Iced Tea and Coffee

$30 per person

Dinner will be served Buffet Style

Tickets are available by e-mailing Dale Hawkins chefhawkins@gmail.com

Ticket will not be available at the door.

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Explanation of menu items (which in no way provides the TRUE way to know- and that is to taste)

Rhubarb Mule: a mix of bourbon, orgeat, rhubarb syrup, ginger ale and bitters

Mollie Moochers: wild morel mushrooms

Ramps: The salient feature of ramps is the smell. The Menominee Indians called it “pikwute sikakushia”: the skunk. “Shikako,” their name for a large ramp patch that once flourished in northern Illinois, has been anglicized to Chicago: “the skunk place.”  The most famous official censure of ramps was brought on by the late Jim Comstock, editor of the West Virginia Hilbilly. Comstock, inspired by scratch-and-sniff advertising for perfume and coffee in several local papers, announced the Richwood Ramp Supper one year by lacing the printer’s ink for his spring issue with ramp juice. “We got a reprimand from the Postmaster General,” Comstock recalled. “And we are probably the only paper in the United States that’s under oath to the federal government not to smell bad” (source: Carrie Lou Jarrell, Sylvester, WV. Lyntha Scott Eiler. 1996/05/25. Library of Congress American Folklife Center. )

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 1, 2012 2:29 pm

    It all sounds so delicious. But you brought back memories of morel hunts in the Sierras with this one.

    • May 1, 2012 9:13 pm

      Hope to do that again there, but meanwhile, am scheduled at a wild mushroom clinic at one of the West Virginia farms

  2. May 2, 2012 9:10 pm

    My husband and I have been to several of the ramp festivals and always had a great time and enjoyed the great food. We are also in the Appalachian Mountains at the WV line. I have enjoyed your posts.

    • May 3, 2012 5:22 am

      Having grown up in the New York metropolitan area, I never even heard about ramps until I moved to Nashville but still never tasted them until this year. Our CSA box has provided us lots of ways to enjoy them!

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