Thursday, April 28, 2011

Signs of Spring--Robins and Asparagus

Our rain continues to fall.  The temperature hovers in the high 40s.  The weather is creating problems for farmers.  Those who grow corn and soybeans--big crops in the midwest--have yet to plant the fields.  I  realize it could be much worse.  It's distressing to see those lower mid-west folks looking on as their homes are covered with water.  Tornadoes continue to devastate so many areas.

I drove down to my favorite farm for flowers and vegetables (a farm that participates in the farmers' market here in town) last Monday.  It's about a forty-mile roundtrip--a pleasant drive on two-lane country roads.  I was on a mission to drop off some pots and baskets for planting and to pick up fresh asparagus--that eagerly awaited green spear of spring.  It was pouring rain when I set out and I almost turned back.  The car was loaded with the containers and I was hungry for asparagus.  The closer I got to LE Gardens, the bigger puddles I saw in the fields.  When I pulled up to the greenhouses, I could see the beautiful array of colorful plants inside.  I didn't see much color in the fields.

Inside, Linda and her crew were busily potting flowers and herbs for the official opening today.  I handed over my containers and gave her instructions for the planting of one basket.  Alas, I saw no asparagus and I was hoping to bring home enough for breakfast, lunch, dinner and asparagus pesto for the freezer.   Her husband noticed my forlorn look and said "I'm going to check on some asparagus for you".  Off he went while I strolled up and down the main greenhouse and got into a warmer mood

Ron was gone for quite awhile.  He finally returned toting a big bucket containing a little asparagus.  The spears were purple.  Purple?  Ron and Linda said they'd never seen purple asparagus.  As any good farmer would say, "must be the weather".

The asparagus was purpler than my photo shows.  My dilemma:  Should I quietly steam it and eat it without saying a word to Andrew?  I did make the trip in the rain.  It certainly wasn't enough to share--well, maybe as an appetizer??


My conscience got the better of me.  I steamed the asparagus and dressed it with a little olive oil, sea salt and freshly ground pepper.  I shared it with Andrew (Oliver even got one tiny spear) and knew I had done the right thing.


As you can see, it turned a normal green when steamed.

20 comments:

  1. I grew purple string beans one year, they greened up when steamed too. How perfect to have just picked asparagus, I'll bet it was great! I'm still gushing over the batch I made on the grill for Easter-yum:@)

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  2. I am just so envious that you have access to fresh asparagus. The farmer may have only a small amount now but, soon it will be abundant.

    Sending sunshine your way and spring flowers.

    Velva

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  3. Ours are just starting to pop out, now if will just dry off enough so we can get to them! I think when they are newly sprouted, they have a bit more purple to their color.

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  4. you were a good girl to share.. i like that purple color a lot. on Tippers blind pig, she said she picked fresh and put the same thing on hers as you did, but baked them in the oven. have you done that before?

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  5. What a lovely little trip! We adore asparagus here!! Yours looked yummy!

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  6. I'm loving a new word I learnt from you today...'purpler'...which by the way isn't anything new to me to see on asparagus...I thought it was normal...we get to see them in our Quebec markets. You do have me wondering though...hmmm.

    Your post warmed my heart Bonnie. That farmer went out of his way to share some of his sparse crop...very touching indeed.

    Have a great day and flavourful wishes,
    Claudia

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  7. Thank you for taking us along, my minds-eye was creating quite a visual. Good to know you did get a little to satisfy your craving. Beautiful photo and color.

    We survived the storms, they were quite scary, we hunkered in the den till 1AM and the power stayed on so we kept watch and prayer for those getting hounded by the storms. Quite a somber morning watching the news and videos of all the counties near us destroyed.

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  8. Love the purple color - and love asparagus too!

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  9. Nothing beats fresh asparagus and robins also. And that was so kind of you to share. I just know we will soon be going from heat to air on the same day here in the midwest, no spring for us this year.

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  10. What a strange story. It turned back to green when you cooked it. My best friend has found out that asparagus has cancer destroying properties. And since it looks like her cancer has come back, she bought a whole lot. In order to eat as much as she needs to, she purees it into baby food and eats tons of it. She actually overdosed one day and had to call the hospital. It now makes her dizzy but she sticks with it.

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  11. Interesting. There is a variety of asparagus that is bred to be purple. It has a nice flavor but I find the color to be off putting. I feel the same way about blue potatoes. God didn't mean for us to mess with certain things :-). I'm glad that your asparagus turned green. I also glad that you enjoyed it. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  12. For the past 3 days it has been a deluge in our area; it gets kind of scary. Brave girl; I think I would have turned around. Asparagus are so so Good when you can get the fresh ones.
    We get them at the supermarket bu not the same thing at all.
    Rita

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  13. Once the asparagus is here strawberries won't be far behind:D

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  14. Oh sweetie, your fresh asparagus is just beautiful and it was quite tasty, I'm sure. Mmmmmm, looks marvelous!

    God bless and have a glorious day sweetie! :o)

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  15. Sharing is always the way to go :) That's why you were lucky enough to snag the asparagus in the first place. Gotta keep up that good karma. Even for Mr. Oliver! Great post. Fun read :)

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  16. No fair! I love that you just picked these asparagus! How amazing is that.

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  17. Hi Bonnie, The weather is doing strange things all over the country this year...

    I would love some fresh asparagus and I wouldn't care what color it was!!!! ha... Looks delicious!!!!

    Let's pray for all who lost so much due to the Tornadoes on Wednesday. We were some of the lucky ones.

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  18. No wonder, the coldest spring in 15 years would do that to asparagus. How lucky you were able to get some. My favorite farmers' market opens next weekend - I hope to find some there.

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  19. I love asparagus roasted on a sheet pan at a high temperature with olive oil and lots of sea salt.

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  20. Asparagus never got cheaper than 2.99/lb this year, so I had to pass it up. It was one of the saddest parts of this weird Spring. Maybe there will be a late shipment....I can only hope. It's one of my favorite vegetables.

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