Sunday, April 25, 2010

Rainy Weekends, Ramps and Other Food Geekery...

It's Sunday evening already and the weekend is passing by far too quickly, as usual.

It's been a very wet weekend. The rain held off for most of Friday and Saturday but when it came, it really poured. We had torrential rain on Saturday night and now we're having a steady downpour that's been going on since about 2 p.m. On days like today, the only thing that seems right is to sit down on the sofa and enjoy a rainy evening.

The puppies don't care for the rain. I feel bad that they have to go outside to do their business. They try to resist quite hard but in the end, they're mostly willing to run out, do their thing and then come inside, soaked and ready to roll on the carpet to try themselves off.

Of course, at one point, during the beginning of the first torrential downpour on Saturday night, I realized they'd dragged all their soft toys outside and if they remained outside, they'd get so wet they couldn't be saved. So, silly Monkeypants that I am, I dived out into the downpour, retrieved their toys and ran inside. I did not roll on the carpet to dry off, however.

It's been a nice weekend. My parents came down to visit which is always fun. I got to make them lunch and spend time with them which is always a treat. It's a treat for the puppies too- I think they probably get sick of seeing just me all the time.

The nice thing about hanging out with my parents is that we don't have to do too much to be entertained. We spent a portion of the afternoon at IKEA. My dad had never been. I think, as most people are on their first visit to an IKEA, he was rather overwhelmed. He was also not keen on IKEA's stealthy way of making you pretty much have to navigate through the entire store to get out, therefore ensuring you will buy something. My mother bought a tea strainer. That's it. I was quite impressed. Of course, I didn't buy anything but then again, I did go last weekend so I didn't need anything. Not that I ever really need anything at IKEA but you know what I mean.

Of course, no visit from my parents is complete without a visit to Jungle Jim's. I never mind going there. I went last weekend but I can always find something to get excited about. At the moment, to my extremely geeky-food-lovin' joy, they have ramps. Most people don't know what a ramp is. I didn't until I saw Mario Batali use them on Iron Chef America. It merited investigation. A ramp is a wild leek that only grows, literally, for just a couple of weeks in the spring. As far as I know it's either hard or even impossible to cultivate. Since I've seen them used in several of Mario's recipes as well as in other places, I had the urge to try them. So, imagine my glee when Jungle Jim's had them. I got some last week and, I'm sort of embarrassed to admit, I squealed a little...only to realize that I was by myself and squealing over ramps was a bit strange. I cooked them using a Batali recipe for Spaghetti with Ramps. I used Linguine. It was delicious. So, this week, when I saw that they still had ramps and they'd lowered the price, I was extremely happy. I can't wait to use them.

Jungle Jim's, thus far, has proved to me that they pretty much supply everything a pretentious foodie like me could want from fresh quail eggs to cippolini onions to ramps. They've even had truffles and morels and different times. Alas, these are far to rich for my lowly salary but it's nice to know they have them. The one thing I haven't seen is fresh chanterelle mushrooms but I have no doubt that, in time, I'll see them. That's an ingredient I'm still longing to try.

My parents left a little while ago, the puppies are quietly chewing on their puppy teething rings I gave them and the rain is pouring outside. It's a pretty peaceful way to ease into the Sunday evening and a nice end to a quiet weekend.

Now I think I'll go and ponder what to do with my ramps and relax for the rest of the day. Tomorrow is Monday which means back to routine and back to work. However, I think that I'll take Scarlett O'Hara's words of wisdom about thinking about that tomorrow. Tomorrow is, after all, another day and why waste a perfectly good Sunday thinking about tomorrow.

Happy Monday (tomorrow!)

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