Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Asparagus officinalis

For the past few days we have enjoyed fresh from the garden asparagus. This is the beauty of a back yard garden. Walk out the back door, wander past the perennial beds, past the amazingly fragrant purple lilacs, to the west garden, and pick some newly emerged asparagus stalks. And you have part of lunch or dinner. A few nights ago I steamed a handful of asparagus stalks and served with butter and a dash of salt. I don't use those tall steamer buckets made just for asparagus. The dependable, collapsible steamer that we use to steam any other vegie works just fine.

I picked another batch of asparagus stalks this morning for lunch. These I cut into one inch pieces, sauted them with thinly sliced onions, dash of salt, added four eggs, topped with grated swiss cheese, all melted under the broiler to make a delicious frittata. This recipe was from Simply Recipes. The eggs too were farm fresh from a local organic farmer friend.

The asparagus comes up as thick stalks or thin stalks. I am not sure what causes such differences in size. They all taste good when picked fresh daily from one's own garden. The taste is a bit subtle for some members of the family, which usually means more for me!

We never buy asparagus in the grocery store. It seems like one of those vegetables, since it is a perennial crop that takes care of itself after a while, that is good picked fresh but not so good after it sits on a grocer's shelf.

The next crop to harvest from the garden (aside from the chives that grow right outside the back door), is the rhubarb. I can almost taste the rhubarb pie, stewed rhubarb on vanilla ice cream, or rhubarb crisp. I have surprised myself in this blog, that this is the first real post about food. I am rather fond of food and thought that it would be a common thread on the Spicebush Log. Maybe now that the growing season is upon us, food stories will creep into the conversation. Just now I have to sign off and start making some chili and garlic toast. Good on a rather cool, rainy, May day.

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