Saturday, May 2, 2015

The Spring Gardens 2015

 Teddy and I took a walk down to the lower gardens to see how things are coming along.

 I love seeing the hostas unfurl.

 Strawberries.

 The forests ferny floor.

 Dandelions...I am trying not to hate them.

 Some of my Mayflowers.

 Wood poppies.

 Painted fern.

 Looking up the steps after the rain.

 My hellebore's have naturalized and they are everywhere.

 They are especially popping up in my pachysandra.

 My parsnips came back from last year.

 Currents.

 Apple blossoms.

 That is Toadflax growing right in front of the arborvitaes.  They were originally planted all the way on the other side of the garden.

 Oakleaf Hydrangeas.

 I let the leaves decay naturally since most of my space is woods.

Texas bluebells.
 Solomon's Seal.

 Teddy the Chow Chow.

Phlox.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Famous West Virginia Pepperoni Rolls

These might be the kids favorite treat so far.  I made these for them a couple days ago and they wolfed them down.
 West Virginia pepperoni rolls are different from any others I have ever seen.  The pepperoni is cut into sticks instead of slices.

 I am still experimenting with these so I won't write the recipe down yet. The dough should be slightly sweet like a potato dough.  You want the sweetness to offset the salty, spicy sausage.

 Once you roll out a piece of dough, you lay a stick of the pepperoni on the edge of it.

 Roll until it is covered.

 Place a second stick of pepperoni on the dough and repeat.

 Finally, place a third stick of pepperoni on the dough.

Roll it and pinch it closed.
 Place them seam side down on a parchment covered baking sheet.  Melt a stick of butter with 3 tablespoons of sugar.  Let it cool and then beat 1 egg into it.  Brush the rolls with this mixture and sprinkle them with a bit of garlic salt.  Let these rise for about 40 minutes.

 Bake them at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes until they are golden.

 Remove them from the oven and let them sit for about 5 minutes. Remove them and let them finish cooling on racks.

 I added provolone cheese to some of them and hot peppers to some as well.

 I made 66 of these and not one was left. These are pretty big too.

 I found out that there will only be 35 kids at the center on Wednesdays as compared to the 125 there will be on other days through the summer.  So, I can feed those kids each Wednesday.  I think these rolls will be on the menu a lot.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Ramps

I stocked up on ramps when I was in West Virginia.  I freeze them and use them all year long.  Every part of the ramp is edible.
 Most often, this is the way you see them for sale.

 Cars like these line the highways with bags of ramps for sale.

 I don't think these guys are employing sustainable harvesting techniques. We bought ours at a nursery and I am guessing they were harvested the same way.

 I picked up my CSA the next day and it had a bag of ramps in it. I can't wait to turn these into all kinds of good things.

My husband cleaned all of them for me, he got big points for doing this! 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Feeding the Kids

 This is what I made for the kids to eat yesterday after school.    Queso, salsa and cowboy caviar....it  was a big hit.  These kids are teenagers and they sure can eat.  I have a real dilemma though.

 The program ends next week.  There is no program for 5 weeks and then the summer program begins.  However, the summer program has four times the number of kids in it which makes it prohibitive for me to provide food.  Cooking for these kids is entirely different than cooking for the shelter.  The shelter had a kitchen, so when I took large quantities of food to them, they were able to keep it warm.  The food for the kids has to be ready to serve when it arrives.

Yesterday, one of the kids told one of the adults that no matter how bad his day is going, he looks forward to coming to the center to have something good and healthy to eat.  What am I going to do?

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Ramp Dogs

 Before we left West Virginia, we stopped at one of our favorite places.

 Bob's Dogs. If you ever need a 6:00 am hot dog, this is the place for you.

 And you can get them any way you want them.


 Bob has other things too and a sense of humor.

But the best thing about Bob's is that he has a special ramp menu during ramp season.
 So, you can get a ramp burger...

 or ramp homefries....

 a loaded ramp dog....

or The Blog Tech's favorite....a ramp milkshake!