Asparagus can be found in most grocery stores this time of the year as one of the earliest spring veggie crops
If you are old enough you will remember a book called "Stalking the Wild Asparagus" by Euell Gibbons. It is still available here. Euell also promoted Grape Nuts back in the day. Which reminds me. I think I need to buy some next week.
Asparagus should be purchased and consumed as soon as possible. Select closed budded stalks that are still crisp. Thicker spears are more tender than the small ones and are super good grilled or roasted in the oven.
Here are my five ways to eat asparagus.
1. Raw in salads
2. Blanched and chilled. Boil in salted water till tender and then plunge in cold water to stop the enzymes from leaching all the flavor.
3. Grilled -- Toss 1 pound asparagus with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place over a grill preheated to high heat and cook, turning occasionally, until well-charred and tender, 5 to 8 minutes. If desired, cut lemon in half and place cut side down on grill until charred, about 3 minutes. Transfer asparagus to a large plate, drizzle with remaining olive oil, sprinkle with lemon (if desired), and serve immediately.
4. Oven Roasted – toss with olive oil and seasonings and place on cookie sheet in 500 degree oven … toss with parmesan cheese.
5. Braised – sear in pan with a little oil, toss in a lump of butter, cover and steam. Drizzle with lemon juice…
After enjoying asparagus, you may notice that your urine has a "haunting" smell. It is not known why some people are more prone to this than others, but worry not. It is actually pulling toxins from your body.
Rather than stalking the wild stuff, you can grow your own. It is a perennial and best planted from stalk, not seed. It takes a while to establish an asparagus patch and the male plants are better tasting. Female plants are the ones that spend all their energy on berries.
Here's some advice from the Farmers Almanac folks on growing your own asparagus.
Plant crowns deeply to protect them from the deep cultivation needed for annual weed control.
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Sue B. Balcom
Writing, or maybe talking, comes naturally to me and under the guidance of a great newspaper editor I have acquired skills that led me to author four books.