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Thoughts from an Epicure: A taste of spring


It’s that time of year when we can begin buying fresh local asparagus.

When I was young, my family often had asparagus that we grew. It was boiled until it nearly was mush, then served on soft white bread or toast, topped with margarine. As soon as possible, I stopped eating it this way. When I was nearly an adult, I would remove some spears while they still were crisp. I enjoyed them that way.

Many of my cookbooks have recipes for asparagus. However, I don’t pay attention to them. An example in one book says: creamed on toast, on ham, just the boiled tips with mayonnaise. Other books are just as “adventurous.” With most foods, I prefer them simple and as natural as possible.

When I have asparagus, I snap off the hard bottoms that I save in the freezer until I have enough to boil in water until all of the flavor is out. I then can use that juice in asparagus soup. I next wash the stalks really well. I used to boil them until just tender, then drain them, cover them with butter, and savor.

Several years ago, I found an interesting recipe for asparagus called “skillet asparagus.” I don’t remember where I saw it. However, I wrote it down and still prepare it that way. As before, snap off the hard bottoms of the ones you want and wash the spears well. But don’t dry them.

When ready, put about 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet the correct size. Lay the asparagus on the butter, cover, and saute for about 3 minutes. Remove the lid and turn them over. Be sure they don’t burn. The little water left on the spears will help keep them from burning. Cover again and cook for another 4 minutes. Serve hot and relish this taste of spring.

Enjoy and stay safe!

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