Winter Newsletter
Week 14


I first discovered ramps when I was on a camping trip in college. I broke down in Cleveland WV (population 200) and had the good fortune of using the phone at a quaint country cottage. The elderly owners helped me get to the campground, brought me firewood, and invited us to their community's ramp feed. Their generosity was unmatched so I could not turn down the invitation and I attended the Hacker Valley Ramp Feed, which was a fundraiser for the school system.

That was my first introduction to Appalachian ramp festivals, and ever since I've wanted to attend the big one - the Richwood Feast of the Ramson. However, each year the date seemed to come in conflict with a Fresh Fork activity, and until now I haven't been able to attend. 

So this past weekend Allyson and I and another couple traveled to Richwood WV. We found a fantastic log cabin to stay in on AirBnB (Scotty and Betty if you are searching). The hosts were very hospitable and the setting charming.

On Saturday we went trout fishing in the morning and then made our way into town to ascend on the Ramp Feed. The cafeteria of the high school was packed, and although we had pre-purchased our tickets, we still waited a while to get to the front of the line. The wait was worth it though. We were treated to a hearty serving of stewed ramps, cornbread, beans and ham, bacon, ham, fried potatoes, cake and sassafras tea. Yes, we rolled out of there, stinking of the "Lily of the Kitchen." 

While we were eating, the volunteers came around with extra servings of stewed ramps.  She explained that they have been preparing for this feast for two weeks. In that time, members of the community have harvested and cleaned 2,000 lbs of ramps. They then chop them up and freeze them (no blanching necessary). The day of the ramp feed, they start early and slowly cook them down in a large pot with oil and salt. The ramps get soft and bursting with flavor.

I then asked our helper though if that was her favorite way to prepare them, or if she used bacon and bacon grease at home. "Honey, I used to make them for my late husband with bacon. He liked them that way." So I asked, 'But how do you like them.' "Me? Honey, those stinky things will never touch these sweet lips." We burst out in laughter as she walked off.

The Ramp Feed was a success and we then attended the craft fair next door, where we found hand made wood products, custom made knives, country crafts, and hand-tied trout flies. 

We then went into a food coma and rested, getting ready for an early day of fishing the next day. Our host Scotty took us out into the Monongahela National Forest along the Cranberry River. The only way to access the river was via foot, horse, or bicycle. We rode up the river about 8 miles and fished our way back down. The fish were biting for Scotty, and for the rest of us....we got a lot of snags. We now know that next time fishing the Cranberry means that we need to bring a pallet of sinkers and hooks and a little more patience!



This Week's Bag


Just to give you a little more info on the actual veggie, Ramps (sometimes called Spring Onions or Wild Garlic) are a delicious Spring allium with an extremely short season. As you might have gathered from the Ramp Feed story about, they're similar to a scallion, and are found mostly in the eastern part of the US and into Canada. Read below for recipe ideas, but almost any recipe that features asparagus would work for these garlicky greens and bulbs. 

For the Pizza Dough Balls-- check out our post online on how to bake fantastic pizza at home! It's made at Frickaccio's at the Westside Market using our flour, and it makes a delicious pie. 

A note on how to cook the bacon sausage patties: the best way is in the oven, on a sheet tray to catch the drippings, in a 350 oven.  Cook for appx 20 minutes and finish on hot griddle to sear the outside.  

Ramp Up, Peninsula!

Curious about Ramps and Ramp Culture? Join Allyson, Brandon, and I this weekend at the 2nd Annual Ramp Festival in Peninsula at Hale Farm and Village. Last year was very enjoyable with live music, presentations, and food and craft vendors. 

Tribe Night with Fresh Fork

The Cleveland Indians are playing the Cardinals on May 12th, and we'll be there out in force! Join us for a Happy Hour at Pura Vida before the game. Click here to register and get more information.  
Sign up for Summer & Spread the News!

Check out our cheat-sheet online to learn more about the fantastic Summer Farm Share 2015. Also, we are a work-of-mouth organization, so please pass this along to your friends and family and tell them how they can eat fresh and local all summer long! 

Special Orders

In case you need anything extra for your cooking this week, don't forget to place your special order online at by Tuesday at midnight.

What's In The Bag?

Spinach & Sausage Stuffed Calzones
These calzones are stuffed with browned sausage (or kielbasa), gooey cheese, spinach and tomato sauce. But improvise to your heart's content, maybe even make a bunch of different fillings to share!

Bag Contents Used in Recipe: Frozen Tomatoes, Kielbasa, Pizza Dough Balls & Spinach


To view the recipe, click here: Spinach & Sausage Calzones


Recipes with Ramps
Ramps are a Spring delicacy-- in and out of season quickly, these garlicky bulbs are sweet and delicious. Almost any recipe for asparagus would work well with these tender greens, or try some of these ideas below:



Grilled Ramps with Romesco Sauce


Simply Green Salad with Pesto Dressing
Use that basil or those ramps to make a pesto, whip in some yogurt and voil�! A perfectly simple & bright green Spring salad. 

Bag Contents Used in Recipe: Basil, Ramps, Lettuce (and/or Spinach)


Click here for the full recipe: Simply Green Salad with Pesto Dressing


And here is our recipe for Perfect Basil Pesto


Soft Boil an Egg or Two
Soft boiled eggs are a delicious way to taste all that golden yolk richness in our Spring eggs. Check out the post below to read our how to!

Bag Contents Used in Recipe: Eggs (served with Bacon Sausage Patties) 


Click here for: Soft Boiled Eggs


Parker's Tomato Jam

This sweet and savory jam is a great addition to any sandwich, cheese plate or maybe even for a surprising ice cream topping! Just make sure to chill it first. 


Bag Contents Used in Recipe: Frozen Chopped Tomatoes


Click here for the full recipe: Parker's Tomato Jam


Links to Other Recipes on the Web
The Hellboy Pizza (Paulie Gee's in Brooklyn)

Slow-Cooker Black Eyed Pea Soup w/ Kielbasa

Udon Noodle Soup with Bok Choi and Poached Eggs 

In This Issue
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Rolling Pizza Dough

First flatten the ball of dough using your hand to create a circle. Dust the surface with a little flour. Lay the rolling pin across the dough as though it were the equator on the globe. Roll the dough from this center to the top and from the center to the bottom. Don't roll off the dough. Give the dough a quarter turn and repeat the rolling. Continue this process-rolling and turning to achieve the thickness you prefer.

Use corn meal when you place the pizza on a pizza stone or on a baking tray. Besides keeping it from sticking, the corn meal will toast and actually added a little taste variation.

You can load the pizza with various toppings before placing it in the oven or you can bake the pizza dough just until it is a bit dry-7-8 minutes then remove it from the oven and cover it with your choice of toppings. Remember, some items are best when cooked-softened-before putting them on the pizza, such as peppers. Also, if you are putting sausage on your pizza, you should partially cook it first in a skillet, drain off the excess fat, and put the sausage on the pizza when you put it in the oven to make sure the meat cooks thoroughly.
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