We had a neighbor literally drop by tonight!

What a cutie! He’s a Gray Tree Frog. These froggies are found in our area and are pretty cool because they can camouflage themselves a little like chameleons (they’re slower though).

Mr. Froggie almost got fried tonight because he decided to take up residence on the underside of our grill. He started falling out when K turned on the grill.  We have no idea how he made it onto our deck since the trees don’t reach all the way to it.  He must have taken a big ol’ leap of faith and completely missed a tree.

They have a really pretty yellow under their legs (as seen here and here), but I wasn’t able to capture it because Kermit here didn’t like posing for us.  Finally, K took him back down to the rocks in the preserve below us. He’d never make it back stuck up on our deck.

Hopefully he’s learned something, because I’m thinking he’s a little slow.  I hope he climbs another tree soon before he gets eaten!

Where the Wild Things Grow

Well, this is so late, but I’m posting it anyway.  Last weekend at the market we saw the first of the ramps! Ramps are wild leeks, so certain farmers will go out in the woods and find them to sell at the farmer’s market.

Ramps only last 4-6 weeks around here, a very short growing season that makes us look so forward to spring!  K and I had JUST been talking about how ramps would be ready soon when we got notice they’d actually be at the farmer’s market.  This spring has been so warm that everything has been growing much earlier.

Last week at the market, here’s what we bought:

  • 1/2 gallon of whole milk (to make more ricotta), 2 quarts of cream (to make butter), 1 pint of chocolate milk from Battenkill Creamery
  • 5lbs of Washburn potatoes from Barber’s Farm
  • 2 bunches of ramps, 6 oz. of goat cheese from Painted Goat Farm
  • 1 loaf of german rye bread, 1 loaf sunflower flax seed bread, 1 french baguette, 1 cheese danish, and 1 croissant from Our Daily Bread
  • A few apples from Maynard Farm

We bought 2 bunches of ramps and all that bread because this weekend we’re hosting our friends who shared the meat CSA to finally split that roast we got last month.  We’re having a German-themed dinner with sauerbraten, potato dumplings, red cabbage, and for dessert, Schwarzwalder Kirsch Torte, Black Forest cherry cake.  K has dumped a quart of our frozen cherries from last June’s picking into a bowl Kirschwasser (cherry schnapps) to soak it up for the cake.  Yum!

In addition, I’m using the ramps to make Morel and Ramp Crostini as a very non-German appetizer.  Doesn’t that look good?

So, after the market last Sunday, I dragged K on a walk to see if we could find our own ramps.  I mean, we live near some woods.  Why pay $4/bunch if we have them nearby?

Well, unfortunately we didn’t find any, but we did find huge stands of wild onions growing!

So, I decided to pick some, brought them home to wash.

And that night, we made a baked ham with ramps and mashed potatoes with wild onions in them.  So good!

All together, that made two things on our plates that night that had been growing wild just a day earlier.
I would love sometime to go on an edible hike, to learn about what other things we might find in forests that we could eat.

Great Flats Pic 12/27

December 27, 2009

Great Flats Pic 12/18

December 18, 2009

Great Flats Pic of the Week

December 12, 2009

Snow is coming…

This Week in the Great Flats

Welcome December!

December 4, 2009

Great Flats Pic O’ the Week

Ugly, ugly November.

November 26, 2009