RAMPS 101

A few weeks back, I posted that morel mushrooms and asparagus are totally in season and being used to create foodie masterpieces by local chefs – professional and self-proclaimed.  Unfortunately, I forgot another vegetable that has a more limited life span and  not as much exposure as its culinary counterparts.  I was reminded of this coveted seasonal treat when Jake the bald Butcher with the bad buzz on barbers displayed packages of said vegetable by the register.

Ramps are a wild onion that grow during the spring in Eastern Canada and the U.S. They’re sometimes referred to as wild leeks, and taste like a balanced mixture of garlic and onion.

Though ramps are a relatively recent food fad, they’ve been around and enjoyed for centuries. They were originally foraged by Cherokees, and have been a staple spring ingredient in Appalachian kitchens for decades. In Richwood, West Virginia, where they grow prolifically, a local festival has been dedicated to ramps since 1940.  Some folks find ramps absolutely delicious —

  • so delicious that civilized people have fought over the last few bunches at farmers’ markets.
  • So desired that they’ve monopolized the spring menus of top New York City chefs.
  • So coveted that they’ve inspired tattoos.
  • So scare the wild plant grows very slowly, taking up to four years to flower and reproduce.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/24/what-are-ramps_n_7128438.html

So, how did I become exposed to these culinary bad boys?

First let me comment on the above ‘so‘ statements before I continue.  And, yes, the format was ‘so‘ written that way in the referenced article.

  • I would so win any ‘conflict’ at a farmers’ market.  Bring it on, bitch!
  • I would never sport a ramp tattoo. So, there.
  • I don’t have the patience to wait four fucking years for a damn vegetable to mature.  So, fuck it.
  • I think the term bad boy is so stupid.  It’s kind of an inside joke, though.  Be that as it may, ramps really do rock.

I was eating lunch at a downtown restaurant and a ramp inspired dish was on special.  In my ignorance, I asked the obvious question- “what is a ramp?” The owner / chef was in ear shot, stopped in mid-chop and approached our table.  Not only did she answer my question thoroughly and completely, I ordered the special and left the establishment with a bunch of ramps fresh from her property in hand.  She didn’t even charge me for them. Later that same day, I ‘ramped’ up the flavor profile of my turkey rice soup. Tasty!

Note: Do NOT  discard the leafy green part – finely chop it and add garlic, olive oil etc.

Presto!

That should probably be – Pesto! but … .  Probably not.

Ramp Pesto

NOSEworthy information

 

In 1896, pharmacist James P. Whitters set out to formulate a soothing nasal wash designed to deliver benefits beyond what standard saline solutions could provide without including the high levels of alcohol found in other products of the time.

The result was ALKALOL, a refreshingly strong saline wash that contains a select blend of natural extracts and aromatic oils to help dissolve mucus, clean and moisturize the nasal passages, and provide invigorating relief from the symptoms of allergies and colds

http://www.alkalolcompany.com/about-us/#.WRbssGjyvIU

I have had allergies my whole life.  Relocating to Northern Michigan probably wasn’t the best idea. I truly believe I’m allergic to the entire state.  Oh well,  I ain’t movin’ any time soon.  So, I’s gots to deal. To be perfectly honest, I’ve been doing rather well  the last few years.  The transitional months – April/May then October/November haven’t even been that awful.  Thankfully,  I avoided the doctor and the gambit of antibiotics that start with a vowel.

Until 2017.

I’ve mentioned numerous times how deleting 2017 in it’s entirety would be fine with me.  Remember, I was on an antibiotic for over forty days and it wasn’t even March.  Yes, it began with a vowel. Ugh! Moreover, May has been the worst month yet for my sinuses especially the pressure.

Awhile back, this whole Neti Pot saline rinse product became the ‘thing’ to do.  I hesitated. The concept seemed plausible, but I  just couldn’t wrap my brain around how using a damn teapot to flush your nose could work.  What a mess.  Besides, a normal saline solution never seemed to work for my schnoz.  Then, my doctor introduced me to ALKALOL and I decided to give it a try.  He suggested I use a nasal aspirator/squeeze bottle as opposed to that messy contraption shit thing.  Good news – It worked.  ALKALOL is amazingly refreshing.

I closed the previous post with my promise that this entry would be a bit more positively charged.  I realize talking doctors office, antibiotics, and sinus issues are not the happiest of topics to discuss.  But, ALKALOL is. Really.  Just squirt that shit up the nose and those sinuses are free to breathe again. What can be more optimistic than that?

Well, probably a lot of things.  However, I did make the effort to take the high road even when talking shop.  Furthermore, I didn’t use the word ‘hate’ once in this post.

To close, I chose a nose related movie clip from Roxanne that is just fun.  The entire movie is comic genius which made it really, really hard to choose just one.

twenty something betters

Since I’m working on my timing, a post about Spring allergies in May  is quite appropriate.  And, I promise to ramp things up even more in the next post.  After that, everything will be … hoppy?

1 thing I hate because of me

I hate weeds.

In fact, I spent over an hour and a half Saturday afternoon pulling the damn things from my lawn.  It was oddly therapeutic, though.  And, that ‘snap’ that I heard when I got the root just right … .  Quite satisfying.  Hmm… .  I still  hate weeds.  Last summer, I was inspired by dandelions to pen a post.  But my timing was off – always is.  When the idea actually formed into a reasonable draft,  it was almost fall.  You see, I was trying to be too metaphorically about the ‘concept’, attempting to correlate weeds and negative thoughts into unrambling, yet still random nonsense.  Ugh!  Fuck that shit.  That was (trying to be) Zen, this is now.

I hate weeds.

Here are some interesting facts about the dandelion flower:

    • The dandelion is the only flower that represents the 3 celestial bodies of the sun, moon and stars. The yellow flower resembles the sun, the puff ball resembles the moon and the dispersing seeds resemble the stars.  This is exactly why I didn’t want to be ‘metaphorical’; so blatantly obvious, yet rhetorically special don’t you think.  (sarcasm intended on the ‘rhetorically special’ part, of course). No doubt  a woman probably wrote this factoid. 
    • The dandelion flower opens to greet the morning and closes in the evening to go to sleep.  So fucking adorable, isn’t it?  I think a children’s book about a dandelion with allergies is a great idea.  (more sarcasm)
    • Every part of the dandelion is useful: root, leaves, flower. It can be used for food, medicine and dye for coloring.  In my opinion, nothing about a dandelion is useful. 
    • Up until the 1800′s,  people would pull grass out of their lawns to make room for dandelions and other useful “weeds” like chickweed, malva, and chamomile.  My neighbor does this.  Weirdo.   I’ve often thought he was from another … era.  Or planet, for that matter.
    • Dandelions have one of the longest flowering seasons of any plant.   Of course they do.  My tulips only bloom for, like,  5 days.  If that.  These damn things last for, like, ever.
    • Seeds are often carried as many as 5 miles from their origin.  Fortunately, seeds don’t have to travel too far to reach my lawn.  Location, location, location, eh? Ugh!

before the Stones really started Rolling

I feel somewhat bad that I presented two negatively  charged posts back to back.  In my defense, they are both  … kinda funny. Please be a bit forgiving when reading, okay?  I promise to be more positive in the next post.  As a matter of fact, I will close with a not so wise, not even close to being Chinese,  ’proverb’ to ponder.

Few weeds a healthy lawn has

                            – modern weedman  observation 

Fuck it – I hate weeds.

7 things I hate because of others

postal ornithology 

House Hunters on HGTV presents a person, couple or family looking to buy a ‘house’ in a specific area.  A local realtor is assigned and provides the party with three properties from which one is chosen.  Before the ‘hunt’ begins, the realtor meets with each party to discuss specific parameters for the new property.

A few years back, an engaged couple were looking to move out of separate apartments into a house in the suburbs.  One specific demand of this couple, the woman, inspired this post.  She stated emphatically that she did not want a house that had trees near the master bedroom window.  When asked her reasoning, she said, “I like to sleep with the windows open.  But I hate chirping birds. The noise disrupts my sleep.”

Okay, then.  Quite frankly, I think a lot of things bothered this woman.  However, since that comment, I notice chirping birds now more than ever; especially in the morning. Thanks a lot, bitch. No, I would never let such a petty annoyance influence my decision making when buying a house.  But I would write a post about the transference of ‘hate’ from other people.  Then, include  who’s to blame for said ‘influence’ and some witty commentary, of course.

the pecking order

  1. birds chirping - once again – thanks a lot, bitch.  Shut the chirp up!
  2. umbilical ‘snots’ attached to the yolk in eggs – I blame a neighbor for this one.  Ever since her comment about how gross these things were, I can’t even look at them.  Pick ‘em out every time; even when baking.
  3. unjustified margins – High School English teacher – SKI Magazine is notorious for this, … this publishing faux pas.  I almost cancelled my subscription.  It’s such a travesty. 
  4. men with mustaches- Two of my co-workers are convinced all men with mustaches are evil douche bags. Entertainment Weekly once stated that only Tom Selleck and 70′s porn stars can rock a ‘stache.   Both parties are correct – mustaches are totally gross and men who sport them really are douche bags.  Except for Tom Selleck and 70′s porn stars, that is.
  5. pet prescriptions - my partner in pharmaceutical crime – yes, numerous pets are medicated.  Some even take the SAME prescription as their owner.  Twisted shit, man.  Still, never thought twice about this topic until my friend vocalized her annoyance.  Now, I’m a hater, too.
  6. crust on bread – my children – result of making thousands of sandwiches over the years.  Crust is especially crusty when toasted.
  7. I hate people – occupational  hazard. Who’s to blame ? Any one who has ever stepped foot into a retail pharmacy. 

leaving the nest

There are more of course; always are.  However, if I continue, it could get … stale.  Which reminds me. I throw all of my discarded crust in the backyard for the birds to eat.  I guess my transferred hate isn’t too deeply rooted. However, if one of those damn birds starts chirping for more … .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGV4hxhxW8o

Haters gotta hate!

Get well soon, sign lady

Apparently, the ‘sign lady’ responsible for the marquee creations at the corner gas station/convenience store is ill.  At  least that’s what I gathered when I read  the titled wish with an added we’re thinking of you.  If she isn’t under the weather, I’m sure there’s going to be hell to pay.  I’m not thinking anyone would mess around with her.  If she’s like anything she ‘writes’ about,  she’s one tough woman.

To facilitate her recovery, I decided to pen yet another post inspired by her pearls of wisdom.  Well, her’s and other marquees around town.  To be perfectly honest, I seriously doubt she even reads this blog.  Let alone gives two shits about what I have to say.  Still, I think it’s time.  I haven’t had a post such as this in awhile.  Added bonus, I’ve decided to pair each with a musical selection.  Think of it as a trifecta of tributes to marquee meanderings.

I mushroom hunt because I have no morels

 Morchella, the true morels, is a genus of edible sac fungi closely related to anatomically simpler cup fungi in the order Pezizales (division Ascomycota). These distinctive fungi have a honeycomb appearance, due to the network of ridges with pits composing their cap.

Before I moved to Traverse City, I had never heard of a morel mushroom. I’m not a fan of mushrooms. So my ignorance to anything related to mushrooms wasn’t unusual. I must say, these people take their morels seriously.  Don’t even get me started on that whole mushroom hunting concept.  After fifteen years, I’m still a morel hold out.  But, if you’re talking vegetable… .  Asparagus season is right around the corner.  I ordered tempura style asparagus at a restaurant a few  years back and it was amazing. For me, it’s stalks over spores, baby.

nature – the Samples

Beer as cold as yer ex’s heart, but no bitter aftertaste

 This was sign lady’s last words – well, before she took ill, that is.  And, what a good one, eh?  So profound, yet applicable to relationahips.  Pretty much everyone who walks into her establishment exists with beer.  So, I’m thinking it’s cold.  As far as ‘yer ex’s heart’ – I’m thinking everyone who walks out with beer in tow has most likely had an ex who’s heart was just as, if not colder.  Brrr… .

cold as ice – foreigner

 I run like the winded

I started running again.  Let me qualify that, I’ve including running segments into my cardio sessions. Though, I’m not sure if you can qualify what I do as running.  Regardless, I go outside and exercise.  Considering I have that hip thing goin down, this should really read  I run like the wounded.

ride like the wind – C. Cross

Warm wishes (and cold beer) for a speedy recovery!

cop a squat

Being a pharmacist, I hear more than my share from customers about their irregularity issues.

Being a father, I’ve heard more than my share of childhood pooping issues.

Being a blogger, I feel the need to share the fact that taking a shit IS a known issue and at least ONE available resource is working on it.

If you aren’t squatting, you’re doing it wrong!

Squatty Potty is the original toilet stool that helps you squat to poop. Squatting unkinks the colon making elimination faster and easier. The Squatty Potty is available in a variety of sizes and styles, so you can find the stool that is right for you.

Isn’t it time you enhance your entire bathroom experience?

Make sure to grab some Unicorn Gold toilet spray. Made with real gold, it’s non-toxic formula will make your bathroom smell like a freshly fallen rainbow. Finally, you can get the clean you deserve with our easy to install Refresh-it bidet attachment. Don’t forget to check out our tee shirts, unicorn plush toy and other merchandise.

If you’re a human who poops from your butt, then the Squatty Potty is guaranteed to give you the best poop of your life.

https://www.squattypotty.com/?gclid=CJS1irb-o9MCFQEPaQodktoF9Q

 Now that my kids are grown, you would think the topic of anything remotely related to the bathroom would be totally off limits.  Spoiler alert: it isn’t – not even for my wife.  Unfortunately. Neither is that website – T-shirts and stuffed animals?  Shit,man. (pun intended)  And, the whole Unicorn Gold toilet spray … .  It’s all a bit much for me.

Personally, I have never heard about this ‘bathroom aide’ until my daughter received a Squatty Potty as a birthday present from a friend. Once again, yes, you read that correctly.  She received a Squatty Potty as a birthday present.  Remember these are teen aged girls.  Their sense of humor can be … awkward, to say the least.  But, there are alot more topics that would garner concern from a parental standpoint.  So,  I’m good.

I still have that hip issue.  This Squatty Potty thing is not for me.  Besides, I’m a dude.  Generally,  we don’t talk about THIS bodily function openly.  Now, if you want to talk belching and/or farting,  I can definitely hold my own.  Otherwise, I’ll save my potty talk for those constipated pharmacy customers.

Time to … flush?!

a condiment conundrum

This past weekend, my son was home for dinner both Saturday AND Sunday night.  A rarity for his schedule – both social and work.  Since he is the biggest fan of my cooking, I decided to tailor the meals just for him.  My wife and his two sisters have less open-minded pallets.  Therefore, they eat chicken.  A lot. And, yes, they even complain about the damn chicken.  Not really.  But there are ‘comments’.

Below is what I prepared on his behalf.

Saturday – seasoned  New York strip steak, baked potato, vegetable stir fry with zucchini, yellow squash, and onion

Sunday – chicken breasts stuffed with homemade pesto, mashed potatoes, asparagus

My son is twenty.  Therefore, he is still tentative on the whole vegetable side dish concept.  I’m totally fine with that.  Those creations are for me. And, my wife, of course, to eat with her chicken.  Both these entrees were executed to perfection.  Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration, but the food was fucking awesome – especially the steaks.  Normally, I suck at grilling.  But these steaks were amazing.

Before my son even took one bite of each  meal, he … dramatic pause … added ketchup. (insert: heavy sigh) I even heard that horrendous ‘fart’ noise the squeeze bottle makes when it’s compressed.  Then, if that wasn’t bad enough, he waited for the bottle to recoil and squeezed  again.

I  almost cried.  In fact, I think I did later that evening when I was alone, curled up in the corner in the fetal position.

To be perfectly honest, no tears were shed.  Instead, I washed the dishes.  I thought the dramatic flare was a nice touch though.  But, I did  vehemently  curse the inventor of said ketchup as I scraped  his plate.

For the record, this whole condiment gene is from my wife’s lineage.  My father-in-law even puts ketchup on pasta. Gasp .  Yes, you read that correctly.  Pasta. Fun fact, my mother-in-law is 100% Italian. I thought I had it rough. Ketchup on homemade pasta sauce.  Ouch!

Me. I never use ketchup.  It’s really kinda’ gross if you ask me.  In fact, I don’t even put the stuff on my hamburger.  I think that may be un American.  But, … . I like mustard. though.  And mayo.  Does that count?

Regardless, I love my son. He’s a good boy.  Furthermore, I love cooking for him.  He will be off to college in a few short months.  As far as I’m concerned, he can do whatever the hell he wants to his food.  All that matters is that he is home, eating what I’ve prepared.  Then, we sit around the dinner table and … catch up.

http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/assembly-line/2834510

… in with the … .

Unfortunately,  I ain’t got nothin’. Yet.  Shit, I’m still getting rid of ‘the old’.  Case in point -

Apr 03, 2017

  • Champion sweat pants that should’ve been pitched 20 years ago
  •  ’would you ever be caught dead in these sweatpants’ ugly
  • DUMPSTER
  • now I really do have nothing to wear home from the gym

Ugh! it’s been a long time coming.  Now I’m just waiting – very patiently (note: sarcastic tone) – for this whole feng shui concept to engage.  According to this principal, the universe is in a state of continual change, forever attempting to maintain balance.  Translation – I’m due for something new.  My balance, in this case my closet, should be restored.

Fuck that shit.  The only balance I know is the one in my bank account. Not only isn’t it maintained, but it ain’t ready for the changes I incurred with my wardrobe catharsis. Makeovers are expensive.  If you really think about it, though,  all the articles of clothing I pitched were rarely wore.  Thankfully.  Just so those who know me won’t be scared, I do have clothes to wear home from the gym.

So, where am I going with all of this?

No fucking clue.  I wish I did though.  Because I truly need to change things up a bit.  And, I ain’t talking any of this amateur closet purging shit either. I need a major overhaul.  But, when you think about change and what you can and can’t change it gets … complicated.  Some debunk all responsibility in a selfish pursuit of what is viewed as happiness.  Not me. I will not compromise my adult responsibilities in some self-absorbed meltdown.  I’ll save that for those Kardashians.  Besides, meltdowns are so overrated.

Sometimes other changes evolve, serving as a ‘distraction’. If everything goes as planned, this fall two of my three children will be away, pursuing their own individual interests.

So, where does that leave me?

Right here, right now, baby, making sure these pipe dreams for my kids precipitate.  After that, maybe, just maybe I can ponder my own continuum with the hope that my ‘balance’, and I ain’t talking closet here, will get restored.

Out with the old, …

Dec 01, 2016

  • (item)   trash container in car
  • (reason)   obnoxious – in the way
  • (where)     neighborhood garbage can on way out of town
  • (commentary)    foreshadowing of things to … change

Jan 13, 2017

  • ugly ass sweater
  • dated and ugly
  • hotel garbage can in Brighton, MI
  • did I say it was ugly?

Feb 01, 2017

  • ‘carpenter’ jeans
  • faded, dated, high-waisted
  • garbage can at home
  • I can’t hammer shit.  Why do I need carpenter jeans?

March 07, 2017

  • flannel pajama pants
  • crotch seam ripped when I squatted down to pick something up
  • garbage can at home
  • my buns of concrete really are that strong

March 22, 2017

  • Born loafers I only wore to work because they were so damn ugly
  • smelly, ugly as fuck, uncomfortable
  • gym locker room - one in each garbage can
  • I’m glad there wasn’t a third garbage can.  Hmm… .

March 24, 2017

  • dark brown khaki Dockers ‘pants’ that no one would ever refer to as ‘nice’
  • ugly, of course, dated, and the waistband clasp broke
  • where else – gym locker room garbage can – only one was needed
  • actually, I broke the clasp myself.  It was hanging on by a thread.  I had a moment. I’m better now. Oh, I pitched the ugly ass belt I wore that day, too.

In case anyone is wondering, I DID have clothes to wear when I left the gym after each incident. Okay?

March 26, 2017

  • ice cream scoop
  • relatively new purchase
  • broke in half as I was scooping ice cream
  • totally an accident –  I harbored no ill-will toward that scoop

Changin’ it up with T Swift

nice pants

sincerity counts

Believe it or not, I actually give a fair amount of compliments.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Sometimes I really do say nice things to people. I realize I post regularly about my negative interactions with the general public.  In fact, I vocalize my hatred for people openly.  Hell, my male version of Resting Bitch Face is so deeply rooted,  it radiates my entire being.  Be this as it may, if I find something I like about an individual, I tell that person.  I have one golden rule when delivering said praises.  Every compliment is sincere.  I mean every fucking word.

lost opportunity

I was at the gym last week and this dude in his early sixties was working out.  He wasn’t a regular at that time of day, but the dude was impressive in his training.  And, he had killer calves.  I have been a leg guy all my life.  If a woman has nice legs, it’s almost guaranteed she’s going to have a really nice ass, too. I don’t have a similar correlation with men because, like, I don’t scope their asses, okay.  But, no pun intended, I do notice calves. Furthermore, calves are an extremely hard muscle group to develop.  So, if someone, male or female, has a nice set I feel compelled to tell them so.  Unfortunately, in this situation, I didn’t.  And, I kinda feel bad. He deserved the compliment.  So often, we as adults are rarely complimented.  Why is that?

http://www.adforum.com/creative-work/ad/player/17186/motorcycle-man/dockers

society sucks

Let’s face it – it’s just awkward. When a dude tries to give another dude a compliment – even more awkward.  Except in a Docker’s commercial, of course. Girls constantly compliment each other without the slightest bit of awkwardness.  Throw a dude in there – even when it’s dude to girl. and it just get complicated. Which brings me to my next point of contention with this innocent act of trying to say something nice.  Few people actually know how to receive a compliment.  Instead of just a simple thank you, the recipient harangues the giver with reasons at why said compliment is somewhat  undeserving.  True story.  As far as I’m concerned,   just say thank you and shut the fuck up. (coma) Bitch.

timing is everything

My last issue with delivering praise worthy comments is my horrible lack of timing.  I totally suck at syncing.  I usually compliment someone in mid-conversation when it’s totally unexpected and random therefore derailing the entire course of our discussion.  Imagine that.  You would think by this stage of my life I would’ve learned some timing by now.  No chance, baby.  My only saving grace is that my compliments are delivered sincerely.  The receiver recognizes this and is usually forgiving. Usually.

final comments

Well, that’s it.   That’s all I got.  Regardless of anything you’ve just read, I still hate people.  However, if I find something that is NOT completely  loathe worthy in someone else,  I tell the person.

Twisted shit, eh?

watch?v=hXydX9p_ZxA

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