You can’t come to Vermont without getting caught up in the localvore movement in some way. Vermonters love local food of all types. So, after a long winter of beets and potatoes from the year before, ramps (wild leeks) and fiddleheads awaken our collective taste buds, a welcoming reminder of the months to come.
Well, we were surprised with fresh picked ramps at the co-op this afternoon. For those of you who haven’t had a wild leek, also known as a ramp, these earthy greens are the perfect natural blend of onion and garlic flavors.
Tonight, we decided to introduce Spring into our meals by making Ramp and Cheese Enchiladas. These were easy to put together in less than 20 minutes.
I took one bunch of ramps, and using both the bulbs and greens, chopped and sauteed them. Then, I rolled two tablespoons of sauteed ramps and three tablespoons of Cabot sharp cheddar cheese in a whole wheat tortilla. These were covered in a tomato black bean sauce and baked in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes.
There are a few signs Spring is beginning in Vermont:1. The rest of the Northeast has already acknowledged Spring has begun (usually 3 weeks prior).2. Back roads are completely under mud. If you have never driven a Vermont mud road in the Spring, it is hard to explain, but I will try. Roads that are dry and flat in the summer, and a nice, flat sheet of snow in the winter, turn to total crap the other 2 months of the year. You get three main types of mud: 1. the thick, car trails, as seen above, 2. the giant, deep potholes, and 3. wash board divets. All try their best to ruin you car and make you drive 5 mph. When you are given advice to purchase a four wheel drive vehicle when living in Vermont, it isn’t for the snow, it’s for the 4 inch mud car trails that grab on to either side of your wheels and take you wherever they decide you will go.3. Smoke billows out of maple huts off every major Vermont road. Yes, Spring is equal to maple season in Vermont. It begins in southern Vermont and then heads to central and northern Vermont a few weeks later. During this time, you can’t drive down a Vermont road without noticing maple syrup in production. These are all very apparent right now. On my drive home from work yesterday, I first noticed three different maple farms in production. Then, once I was only four miles from home, I hit the great mud road from Wolcott to Elmore. I was successful in my journey home, although I hit potholes so hard that my CD skipped, turned my four wheel drive on during a jaunt up a hill covered in 4 inch car trails, and got a slight headache due to the endless wash board pivots. Unfortunately, this back road will stay covered in mud for at least another month, so I guess I should just get used to it now.
Putting the date as a post’s title brings me back to the days of paper bound journals and diaries. I thought it was fitting today, though, because not a year goes by when we try to remember when last year’s latest snow or big storm was.
I don’t remember last year’s latest snow or storm. I do remember that around this time it was hotter in Vermont than it is in the summer. Because we live in the mountains, further north than most of the states, even our summers are quite cool. It’s actually quite nice because we can enjoy all day outside, even on the hottest of summer days.
Anyways, this year is a bit different. Although it started warming up a bit last week (30’s), we have already received about 4-5 inches of snow last night, and it is still going! We should be in the foot range by tomorrow morning, although it could be more or less.
I really love that we are having a late snow year. I was reminded of how much I missed it last year as I was riding my snowboard down the slopes on St. Patrick’s day. Can’t beat that. One thing about Vermont, though, is that even a big snowstorm doesn’t keep Vermonters inside. I still made it into work by 7am, as usual, and it is just like any other days.
We will see if we continue to get more snow through late March, early April. I remember when we first moved up, we had a 2 inch coating of snow right around my birthday (April 9), so we could still have a few more weeks of winter left!