What Makes Mama Happy, part I

Big Mama’s been happy this past week or so. Food adventures abounded, from the ground to the table, and most importantly to my mouth.

Yes, this is the closest I come to a Mothers Day post. I could talk about the breakfast in bed we used to make my mom, garnished with the pink crab apple blossoms that always popped open at the right moment, but, well, I decided radio personalities and wild ingredients are more exciting–and, perhaps most importantly, mush-free.

Here’s what’s been doing:

Gardening at the community garden! And finding a tiny garlic bulb no bigger than the tip of my index finger just hanging in there in the tilled soil.

This was a special treat dished up by one of our fellow gardeners. I started to sense we were out of our league when I saw the pressed pants and button-down shirts they wore to garden, and their ready supply of Heinekens they broke out when it was time for a break. Then this gentleman, as we chatted, started digging up a “weed,” slicing off pieces of a delightfully sharp root. I immediately recognized the earthy tang from ye olde Seder Plate: white horseradish! Knowing both when to throw back a cold one and when to start digging in the dirt again is pure class.

The next day, it was off to the Dupont Farmers Market–me and every other food-curious person in the tri-state area–to see…

Lynne Rossetto Kasper, host of The Splendid Table on NPR! (Shown here signing books). The crowd above was gathered around the tent where she gave a demo on creating a dinner salad.

The best part? It wasn’t the revelation that you can make a delicious vinaigrette from a good vinegar, mustard and/or soy sauce or fish sauce, olive oil and salt and pepper. We kind of knew that. It wasn’t even that you can throw pumpkin seed oil into the dressing or lilac flowers in with the greens. It was the bantering and bickering we got to witness between Lynne, TST co-producer Sally Swift, and guest chef Odessa Piper. You never get to hear that on the streamlined one-hour show.


Ramps! I’m grateful that I didn’t miss them. Ever since these wildly popular, wild-growing veggies popped into my line of vision this year (I’m not sure where I’d been looking in past years), I’ve been wanting to try them. This article especially got my taste buds curious. And there they were!

Stay tuned for Big Mama’s recipe for ramps and her take on this springtime sensation (hint: the review can be summed up in Public Enemy’s best-known message).


3 thoughts on “What Makes Mama Happy, part I

  1. Thanks! I lazily just said The Splendid Table is from/on NPR. It’s actually from Minnesota Public Radio and American Public Media. Got to give them their due 🙂

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