It's a little late in the season to be talking about ramps, I know. Ramps are generally one of the first harbingers of spring--their bright leaves are a beacon of hope and warmer days when the ground is still a blanket of dead leaves and the bare trees still seem to shiver with cold.
We're no longer in ramp season. The once-naked trees are flush with bright green leaves, past the season of bashful pastel blooms and unfurling green seedlings. The suburbs are abuzz with the humm of lawnmowers. Produce fights for space on farmer's market tables. Everything seems to be in season. We're in full-on summer mode,
However, by some miracle of the refrigerator gods, I still have ramps in my fridge from almost a month ago, when Kate of Snowflake Kitchen and I went to pick ramps while I was home in Connecticut. Kate is a wealth of knowledge about a ton of things, be it canning, jamming, beekeeping, sugaring maple trees, or just mixing up a great drink. However, her greatest skill is arguably her ability to stumble upon ramp patches. That weekend, we met up, drove to the ramp patch, cut ourselves some ramps (leaving the bulbs, so they'll grow back, of course!) and dreamed of all the delicious dishes we were going to ramp up.
Since then, I've slowly been working my way through my ramp bouquet. I've made salad with ramps, small batches of ramp pesto, and grilled them to go with steak. Though I was using a few leaves in most of my lunches and dinners, I couldn't quite seem to make a dent in the seemingly endless bunch of green glaring at me when I opened the fridge.
As is frequently the case in my life, the ramps seemed to be a larger metaphor for what was going on in my world. Between my full-time job, my part-time job, freelance clients, organizations I belong to and my social calendar, I seemed to amass a never-ending to-do list. As much as I tried to stay on top of things with apps, planners and post-it notes, the list never seemed to shrink.
Finally, I snapped. I watched a video for the Bullet Journal (more on that later), went out to buy a new notebook and wrote. down. every. little. thing.
Every due date.
Every copywriting assignment.
Every board meeting.
Every target goal.
Every tiny task.
Since January, I felt like I was constantly playing catch up. I wasn't current. I was constantly playing catchup and feeling like I was always a bit behind. Kind of like this post about ramps. Well, dear reader, I'm happy to say that since spilling my brain out into my beautiful new bullet journal, I get stuff done. There's an inexplicable thrill that comes with checking off boxes and I was on a productivity ramp-age. Now that June is here, I'd like to keep the momentum going, starting with this post...
Once I cross that off the list, I think it's off to the fridge to finish off this ramp-age once and for all.
Wish me luck!
Shrimp + Cheesy Grits with Ramps
- Shrimp (5 per person or enough to decorate your plate. Deveined & peeled.)
- Grits (1/4 cup dry per person, or one serving per person, prepared according to directions on container)
- Old Bay (a dusting)
- Grated Cheddar (as much as you can handle)
- Ramps (a handful, washed, per person)
- 1-2 eggs per person
- Heat a cast-iron skillet til it's hot.
- Add a touch of olive oil to the pan. Add ramps to the skillet and allow to cook until just wilted. Remove from skillet and set aside.
- While ramps are fainting in the pan, dust shrimp with Old Bay. Toss to coat. Add shrimps to hot pan. Cook each side for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove skillet from heat.
- In a medium pan, cook grits according to package.
- While the grits are cooking, heat a non-stick pan (or use your cast iron skillet if it's well-seasoned enough) and cook the egg. Do not flip, unless that's your thing, but remember, leave the egg runny. You'll thank me later.
- Once the grits are done cooking, remove from heat and stir in ALL THE CHEESE. Spoon grits onto a plate. Top with ramps, eggs and shrimp.
- Go on an eating ramp-age!