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Monday, April 16, 2012

Let's Talk Dirty

Ted's right.  I am a good folder.
Like most everyone, I live in an endless cycle of washing, drying, and putting away.  No matter how many loads of laundry I do, there's always more waiting for me in the laundry basket (and on the floor).  There's no end to the amount of dirty clothing my family can produce.

I like to think of laundry as a work in progress because around here there's always laundry in progress.  In fact, if the washing machine isn't doing its thing, the silence in the kitchen is disconcerting.  When I'm going to do a couple of loads, I have to first try to remember if I have a load sitting in the dryer waiting to be folded.  I hate when that happens.  It really messes up the process.

I really don't enjoy folding, despite the fact that Ted says I'm the best folder he's ever known.  (Flattery will get him everywhere.  Or at least it will get him folded clothes.)  I'm such a good folder that I could get a job at The Gap.  They have people there who just fold.

I'm also not crazy about the putting away.  Yes, it's true.  I could just leave the clean clothes neatly piled on everyone's bed and have them do the putting away.  Unfortunately, that's not how it would work in my house.  The pile would remain on the bed until bedtime, at which time it would be moved to the top of the dresser.  There it would remain until either all the clean clothes were worn or the pile fell on the floor.  The clothes would remain in a heap on the floor until they were all worn or stepped on and reintroduced into the laundry cycle.

I have done a scientific study (not really) and basically it cuts down my work if I just put the clothes away instead of waiting for everyone else to do it themselves.  I call this Defensive Laundry Strategy.

Gone are the days when I marveled at the adorableness of Charlie and Kate's little baby clothes.  I used to wash those little onesies in Dreft and then lovingly fold each little outfit. I could wash two years worth of clothes in one load because they were so small.

Well, those days are over.  The clothes are big and those damn sweatshirts are so bulky.

Speaking of which I better go and check the dryer before I start on today's laundry cycle.

This recipe has absolutely nothing to do with laundry but I did get some lovely ramps from the Penn Farmer's Alliance.  If you're not into mussels, ramps are traditionally served with eggs.  I have enough ramps to try an egg dish as well and I'll pass along that recipe when I do that.

Recipe:  Garlicky Mussels with White Wine And Ramps
(Melissa Clark, Cook This Now, 2011)

Serves 2


1 bunch ramps (about 4 ounces), bottoms trimmed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small head green garlic or 2 garlic cloves, minced
4 sprigs thyme
Kosher salt or coarse sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 pounds mussels, rinsed
2 tablespoons butter

Crusty bread for serving


Remove the leaves from the ramps and finely chop them; thinly slice the white bulbs.

In a large pot over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the sliced ramp bulbs, garlic, thyme, and a pinch of salt and pepper and sauté until softened, about 2 minutes.   Pour in the wine and bring it to a boil. Let simmer until reduced by half, about 4 minutes, then add the mussels and cover the pot. Let the mussels steam, stirring once or twice, until they open, 5 to 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer mussels to bowls. Discard any that have not opened.

Add butter and ramp greens to the pan juices and bring to a boil. Whisk until butter melts, then taste and correct seasonings. Pour over mussels and serve with bread for sopping up juices.

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