Daily Archives: April 18, 2013

Duke Gardens named one of nation’s top 10

Duke Gardens have been named one of the top 10 public gardens in the United States.  Check out the article on  tripadvisor.com.  I feel lucky to work right next door.

If you can’t get out to the gardens today, visit them virtually using their interactive map.

Foraging for onions

Nothing could be finer than foraging for food in your backyard on a glorious North Carolina spring morning.  Today’s harvest was wild onions, and there were  onions ‘o plenty.

wild onions

Wild onions are part of the allium genus of plants which includes all types of onions, garlics, chives, and leeks.  (Allium is the Latin word for garlic, by the way.)  This morning’s  mantra was “all alliums are edible,” which happens to be true.

I dug a whole bunch out of the ground, washed them and put them on the chopping block.  They looked a lot like scallions to me and definitely had a similar taste.   I chopped them up and threw them in the crockpot to give my beef stew some more flavor.


Franklin decided to get a little taste for himself.

Franklin  tries some wild onions

I’d be curious to know if anyone out there knows where to find “ramps” which are a variety of wild onion that have become increasingly popular on the restaurant scene.  Their stems are flatter and wider then the more conventional kind you see around here, and have a distinct garlic taste.  They are also native to the Appalachians.  Next time I go up to Boone I think I’ll try to find some.

By the way,  Chicago got its name from Checagou, which is the Potawatomi name for wild leeks. Apparently the  surrounding marshlands were saturated with rotting, wild leeks.  True story.

Bon Appétit!