Take Honey Leave Money
When the late blooming narcissus lift their fair faces to the strong breezes of changing temperatures,
when the lilacs are especially fragrant,
and the bleeding hearts are blushing in deepest pink,
asparagus is ready for harvesting.
Having not lived in one place long enough to harvest mature asparagus spears (although I have planted this perennial and wonder who might be harvesting them now) I depend on my neighbors’ gardens.
Down a country road sits a little house surrounded by large gardens. I take advantage of their produce. “Should we stop for more aspar-a-grass? Dean asks - emphasis on the grass. I'm quite used to his wisecracks but still find them funny. He discretely passes up this vegetable at the table. Nevertheless, I cook oodles of it this time of year for our family and whoever chances to stop by.
On a breezy day this May, Dean slipped some dollars into the plastic container while I removed two bunches of asparagus from the water they were standing in. I was dreaming up the next dish. I’ll admit to hanging onto one (now vintage) 90’s blue jean skirt. I attempted to “smarten” it with a brown tweed blazer as I was hastening out the house. It’s a hand-me-down from one of my traditionalist friends.
1/3 Cup olive oil
1/3 Cup lemon juice
1 Tbl honey
1 Tbl mustard
salt & pepper
After washing asparagus, peeling it is an important step. This enables the spears to cook in less time and thus remain bright green. They are also easier to chew. In a large shallow pan I simmer until fork tender, often simmering a quantity in separate batches.
A salad is so refreshing. My windowsill harvest of alfalfa sprouts reappear here.
This morning I made a breakfast sandwich of asparagus and melted cheddar cheese on whole-wheat toast. It is a scrumptious springtime breakfast.
I’ve been gobbling up Edith Schaeffer’s chapter on food in her Hidden Art of Homemaking. At the bottom of a page of inspiring suggestions and high ideals one sentence reads,
“Being challenged by what a difference her cooking and her way of serving is going to make in the family life gives a woman an opportunity to approach this with the feeling of painting a picture or writing a symphony.” Page 124
I’d like to feel this artistic sense more than I do. I have found, however, that anticipating a new fruit or vegetable in season motivates me to combine ever-present kitchen duties with a touch of art. Reading the ideals held up so affirmatively by Edith Schaeffer, helps too. It’s been years since I last read them.
These asparagus peelings were reserved for the earthworms that live in a garden of lupines and pin cushion plants. With a few sweeps of the hoe they can be worked directly into the soil without composting.
In turn the pincushion plants are happy and so are the butterflies.
Don’t you love spring?
Comments are welcome. I will read them while I am away for a bit. The bleeding hearts in this post mark one year of blogging. Thanks for visiting, Karen Andreola