Sweet, fruity, cheesy blintzes are a great Mother’s Day treat for the Mom in your life. But let’s face it, they’re equally awesome as a weekend splurge you can make for yourself!
Breakfasts at the Nerds household are probably a lot like breakfasts at your house. During the week, we never have time to indulge in anything luxurious – it’s grab-a-slice-of-toast, open-a-yogurt, pour-a-quick-coffee time. So the weekend is when we really get to enjoy ourselves. And when it’s a special weekend like Mother’s Day, we really feel like going for the luxury option. These blintzes … well, let’s just say, if they were on the breakfast-in-bed menu at a classy hotel, I would not look at anything else. No, not the pancakes. No, not the eggs benedict. Well, maybe the eggs benedict, but I’d ALSO order a round of these blintzes. But here’s the thing – I’ve never seen them on a hotel menu, and maybe I’m going to the wrong hotels. but that’s all by-the-by because I’m making them at home now. And yes, they are as good as they look.
We put the must in mustard, the cute in charcuterie, and the jam in …er … jam, with this spectacular picnic spread. Ham! Cheese! Pâté! Salami! Pickles! Our festive charcuterie board is topped off with fresh, tangy home-made Maple Mustard and sweet Red Onion Jam.
This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Les Trois Petits Cochons. Thank you for supporting Nerds with Knives’ partners!
There’s something about a picnic that pulls at the heartstrings. As a concept, it’s hard to beat – put tasty snacks into a bag? Carry the bag into a field, perhaps by a lake? Lie down on a blanket and eat the snacks and look at the view and drink wine? WHAT IS BETTER THAN THAT. (Nothing. Nothing is better than that.) And its alliterative name, like odds and sods, and bits and bobs, suggests that really, you can take any collection of tasty foods and a cold bottle of something delicious, and you can’t go too far wrong. (Just make sure you have home-made Scotch eggs on your charcuterie board. Seriously.) Then, a few years ago, we had a holiday in France, and realized that the French really have this whole picnic idea down.
Sweet, savory and just plain delicious, Red Onion Jam with Wine, Honey and Thyme is a perfect addition to any cheese or charcuterie board.
Caramelized red onions are tasty in their own right, but simmered in a sweet/spicy mix of red wine, honey and herbs, they turn into a the most delicious preserves ever. We made our jam (along with Homemade Maple Mustard!) to accompany our charcuterie board, but we have big plans for the leftovers. Click the link below for ideas (and the recipe!)
Making concord grape jelly is really easy and you don’t have to be a homesteader to do it. All you need is grapes, sugar and lemons – no added pectin!
I may as well put it out there straight away: we’re not homesteaders. At least, not yet. If you’re reading this (frankly, if you’re not reading this, I don’t know what the hell’s going on), you’re no doubt into food, and home cooking, and perhaps you subscribe to the newsletters of people who have acreage and live off the land and have their very own scoby and sourdough starter, both of which have names (I’d name my sourdough starter “Scrimshaw”, I think. How about you?) People who pickle. People who can.
Ramps, a seasonal treat in the Northeast US, are in danger of being over-harvested. Since they are very slow to cultivate and difficult to farm, foraging is still the main way to find them. A wild ramp patch can be quickly overrun and destroyed. The most sustainable way to harvest ramps, if you find them yourself, is to cut only one leaf of each plant, leaving the bulb and second leaf to continue growing. This is least impactful on the soil, the plant, and the colony as a whole. We’ve adapted the recipe below to use only the ramp leaves, and you’ll find ramps in this form from sustainable vendors.
“Ahem,” [Taps mic, looks around nervously]. “It all started around ’98. ’99. It was like they were giving it away, you know? We just thought, ‘hey, these are pretty good!’. We didn’t understand. We didn’t know what would happen.” [Squares shoulders, takes deep breath]. “My name is Emily, and I am addicted to ramps.”
This is me at the farmer’s market during ramp season:
I feel a tiny bit bad about evangelizing a vegetable that can be very hard to find but this was just too good not to share. Making ramp butter, along with pickling, is one of the best ways to preserve ramps so you can enjoy them all year round.
Your basic ramp, Allium tricoccum, is a North American species of wild onion that grow across eastern Canada and the eastern United States. (The European/Asian variety is allium ursinum.) I know that doesn’t sound very exciting but they have a unique oniony-garlicky flavor that, if you like that kind of thing, is really fantastic. They are also notoriously difficult to cultivate and their growing season is very short, so they are a true delicacy. That means crazy people (me), will travel far and wide to find them, so if you’re lucky enough to have them in your region, don’t expect to saunter over to the farmer’s market at noon and expect to find any left (because I got there at 7 and bought them all).
Ramps, a seasonal treat in the Northeast US, are in danger of being over-harvested. Since they are very slow to cultivate and difficult to farm, foraging is still the main way to find them. A wild ramp patch can be quickly overrun and destroyed. The most sustainable way to harvest ramps, if you find them yourself, is to cut only one leaf of each plant, leaving the bulb and second leaf to continue growing. This is least impactful on the soil, the plant, and the colony as a whole. You’ll find ramps in this form from sustainable vendors. If you have your own private ramp patch with bounty to spare, feel free to use the bulbs, as we did in this recipe.
Yeah, yeah. I know ramp season is over but I made these a while ago and they were so good I decided to blog them anyway. When it comes to ramps, it’s really the green leaves that are incredibly perishable so every once in a while, you can find just the bulbs for sale long after you stop finding the leaves. But what to do with them?
You may have guessed that I’m fond of making pickles. What’s that? Oh, that’s just Matt running in to the room holding a jar of brined pencils, screaming “Obsessed! You’re obsessed”. Fine. Yes. I’ll admit it. I love pickled red onions, radishes, cucumbers, even grapes.
So it should come as no surprise that when I found the last batch of ramp bulbs hidden away in a overlooked corner of our local market, I immediately decided to preserve them in a delicious, sweet/tart brine.