Thursday, April 25, 2013

Creasy Greens

    Spring always reminds me of visits to my Aunt Lee's home (in VA).  She loved to pick watercress by creeks early in the season.  Typically she served it on bread with butter as a watercress sandwich.

    "We called watercress 'creasy greens'", says Vernon Pack.  "We'd pick them at my grandparents house, get a bushel and I would wrap them in newspaper so they wouldn't get wrinkled.  We would go to the courthouse in Beckley."  Vernon adds that many years ago a farmers market existed on the weekends near the Beckley courthouse.

      I did some research into creasy greens/watercress.  According to a number of sites, there is a difference.  Watercress (Nasturtium officinale) and creasy greens, or land cress (Babarea verna) are two different plants.  I've personally never had creasy greens.  Growing up I heard the term many times.  As an adult I managed to find a grocery store that sold watercress.  It's one of my favorite greens - it has a slight peppery or spicy taste.

    Ramps are another springtime crop.  My grandparents loved to go to ramp dinners.  I'd love to try them, but every time I bring it up my parents say the same thing, "you won't like them! You wont be able to get the smell out of you!"  So, I need to ignore my mom and dad's warnings and go find a ramp festival.