Eric and I returned home on Sunday to find a note left by my mom. “I love you,” it said. “We had a wonderful time in your beautiful and warm home.” Somehow she’d found a way to tuck this in our office without us noticing. It was a lovely message to receive after a fantastic weekend. I’d been anxiously awaiting this visit from my parents. For one thing, they hadn’t seen the house. Yes, we sent photos and videos and did our best to describe things in as much detail as we could. But that isn’t the same as experiencing it. They got to walk around the garden and see all the flowers that have started to crop up these last couple of weeks. They got to meet our neighbors and see what a charming street we’re on.
There was a lot accomplished this weekend, especially in the way of decorating. They brought up furniture that came from my grandmother, who passed away a few months ago. I didn’t know how it’d fit in the house, but I’m beyond thrilled with how it’s all turned out. It’s nice to have a piece of my grandparents here… especially the two brown leather recliners that now reside in our living room. They were their favorite chairs and every time I sit in one, I’ll remember the hours they spent in them, working on crossword puzzles, reading, or watching basketball games.
My parents took us to get some lamps and pillows and treated us to new sheets and a comforter and a throw to lay on top of the bed (you know… grown up things). And my mom, with her incredible eye, helped us figure out what art to hang on the walls. In addition to all the errands, we did dinner with Eric’s mom and dad and their partners. On Friday, I cooked up a storm, even going so far as to make an appetizer for everyone to nosh on before the meal (again… so grown up). There was wine and scotch and wonderful conversation. And, most importantly, we got to just be together in our home.
Ramp and Mushroom Toast
Servings 4-6 servings
1/4 lb ramps, ends trimmed, green parts coarsely chopped, white parts reserved
1/2 lb button and wild mushrooms (such as oyster, cremini, chanterelle, and shiitake), cleaned, trimmed and sliced thinly
1 garlic clove, minced
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (but not melted)
2 teaspoons Herbes de Provence
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 teaspoons fresh (or dried) dill
1 baguette or a similar crusty bread, cut into 1/4 inch slices on a bias
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
2. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook mushrooms for 2 minutes, or until they start to brown slightly. Add ramps and garlic and cook an additional 2 minutes. Mix in Herbs de Provence, balsamic vinegar, and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
3. To prepare the toast, brush both sides of the sliced bread with a little olive oil and place on a baking sheet (you may need two). Transfer to the oven and bake for 5 minutes. Flip the slices over and bake in the oven for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until it starts to turn golden brown brown.
4. To make the ramp butter, finely chop the reserved white parts of the ramps. In a bowl, stir the remaining softened butter with the ramps and dill and season with Kosher salt.
5. Spread the ramp butter on the toast and then top with cooked mushrooms. Sprinkle a little coarse sea salt over each before serving.