Thursday, September 4, 2008
We gave up buying tomatoes at the store several years ago (when even "garden/vine ripened" tomatoes there meant hothouse, mealy, under ripe and tasteless. Instead, in winter we eat was we put away the previous year and look forward to that first fruit of summer. The same decision on asparagus was made about the same time - ours comes in the size of man's thumb, reaching 18" for harvesting and bears for about 6 weeks; it would probably be longer, but by then we are tired of asparagus and just let it leaf out and gain strength for the next year. No more imported, pencil thin asparagus that is so-so in flavor and often tough and stringy even 6 inches from the tip. Instead, we have great big fat spears grilled, steamed, broiled and stir fried nearly every day until we can't stand it any more. None of it goes into the freezer or is canned (ugh!); any tougher trimmings are instead dried and saved until winter, when they are powdered, reconstituted in chicken stock and cooked into cream of asparagus soup. Nothing else is needed, other than a bit of salt, pepper and perhaps a dash of sour cream.