A berry you should get to know better, if for nothing else but mulberry jam
When I was growing up a neighbor had a large mulberry tree in back of their home. When you’re ten years old the best thing to do with mulberries is to squish them on your friends’ shirt so they get yelled at by their mom. But eat them? At that age not with these lips!
Years later Joanne and I had another neighbor who had a mulberry tree. More wizened and open to suggestion we both tried them. My first thought was of mulberry jam.
Ramp season is over but you may want to save this recipe!
I held off posting this article until we had a chance to sample the results of this recipe. Last night we tasted the pickled ramps we made a few weeks ago first by chomping into a whole one then adding them to our nightly salad. These puppies are incredible and I’m glad we made several jars. We’ll be using these pickled ramps up in no time and pining for next years harvest.
Ramps (allium tricoccum) or wild leeks or wild onions are delicious. Grilled, raw, or otherwise the ramp has a deserved reputation for being one of the most sought after foraged foods. This year we decided to make pickled ramps from the harvest.
We are fortunate to have a ramp patch in the woods above Tess Creek, just behind the horse barn. The pickings were a little light this year for some reason, certainly not due to over picking them. We are always careful to leave a good amount so the patch can recuperate. Last year we went real easy on them, two years ago we didn’t harvest any.
This year however, my brother Tom and I went foraging for ramps. He knows of a spot not far from our home were they are plentiful. Within forty-five minutes of arriving Follow the tracks for more
Last year as I was making dinner salad I looked at the fresh strawberries I had just cut for the salads. I started thinking how I might be able to have that flavor all year round. In a flash it came to me…strawberry vinegar.
We love flavored vinegars and in addition to this one we make fig-balsamic as well. They simply add another tastes component to your salads and bring a hint of summer back to your winter meals.
Here’s some pointers and the recipe. First, use the ripest strawberries you can find. Real tasty with strong strawberry flavor. That’s it. One pointer is all you need. All right, here’s another. The recipe is easily doubled and you probably should double it.
Here’s the fun part. This is so simple and quick to make you should try other fruits as well. Peaches would be great, red raspberries, black raspberries, or any fruit with a strong taste and some color. As the vinegar ages it will take on more of the color. The strawberry vinegar turns a nice light red to pink color.
As the fruit macerates the vinegar pulls the color and flavor from the berry. Once the the berries are pale in color the vinegar is pretty much finished. You will want to strain it as some point as the vinegar breaks down the cell structure and leaves little bits of fruit on the bottom of the jar. But don’t worry, the great strawberry taste is locked in!