The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

Blue Ridge Bookshelf - May, 1984

By Parks Lanier, Jr. © 1984

Issue: May, 1984

MOUNTAIN STATE PRESS, affiliated with The University of Charleston in West Virginia, sent an interesting assortment of books, several of which will be featured later. For this month, one is of particular interest, Barbara Beury McCallum's Mom And Ramps Forever!

My first acquaintance with ramps came seven or eight springs ago during a hike in the Mount Rogers area. A member of our group begged permission of our park ranger guide to pull one ramp to save for later. He allowed it. I made sure to stay upwind of the ramp lover for the rest of the trek.

Since then, I have learned that ramp lovers are rampant, with whole festivals dedicated to the eating of that tuber which makes onions and garlic pale by comparison. Like chittlin' festivals, these are not high on my list of ways to celebrate the coming of spring. But for those of you who like ramps, and can gather them without offending the National Park Service, or your neighbor's noses, I recommend Barbara's book.

To get you started, Barbara has a recipe for ramps with bacon and eggs For a light lunch, you can try just plain ramp soup or cream of ramp soup with ramp chef's salad. For supper, Spanish rampin' meatloaf, ramps and pork, or Mountaineer Hash would finish the day nicely. If you have company coming, or want to make a big hit at the church social, there's ramp vichyssoise, rampion raiponce, or boeuf choufleur et ramps. When the preacher's wife leans over the casserole dish and asks, "Oooh, what's this?" she'll get the surprise of her life.

The sermon next Sunday will probably be a rampage.

In far southwest Virginia, some mean-minded people use the word "ramp" as a derogatory word for people against whom they are prejudiced. Barbara McCallum has done her best to present this humble vegetable in it best light, and succeeded. It's the kind of book to send someone as a spring tonic. No price was listed, but MSP, 2300 MacCorkle Ave., S.E., Charleston, WV 25304 will gladly supply details and a catalog of other wonderful books.

Editor's Note...Parks sent a copy of this book to us. It is more of a booklet in size. It's soft backed and 26 pages, about 4x6 inches in size.