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It's Spring Break locally.  Morning traffic is nice because many people take this week as vacation time, and so they sleep in or aren't in town.  


Homebound traffic is worse.

On the bright side - asparagus is up!  Fresh picked, cleaned and trimmed - ready for the pot:

Fresh picked Asparagus

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Comment Preferences

  •  That looks delicious (13+ / 0-)

    It's one of the many things I miss about home. It had been a crop around my hometown and had gone to seed in lots of hidden abandoned locations. We never wanted for free asparagus. When I was I kid, it never occurred to me that people paid for it in a grocery store.

  •  g'day; day and night are turned upside down (11+ / 0-)

    for me since I sat up all Sat night on an online auction.  At least it was a once a year affair so I should not be doing that again for a year.

    Now I have to get a room cleaned up so i can mount a wall rack so maybe I can Shanghai a kid into doing that for me

  •  I'm envious of your asparagus... (9+ / 0-)

    Locally grown is at least a month or so's just too cold here, still.  Chance of snow in the immediate future -- that kind of just too cold.  Real springtime doesn't usually arrive in full until April, and the official last-frost date is still mid-May, although there certainly hasn't been a frost in May in the ten years I've been here.

    Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

    by Youffraita on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 10:33:06 PM PDT

  •  wish I could figure out what all the hoo-hah about (10+ / 0-)

    asparagus is about. I've never experienced it except as mealy-soft, plus stem-stringy, very mildly green-tasting amorphous "stuff". I know I must be missing something, 8-)

    Quiet day, up too late for movies, so just watched the NCIS Ducky-Thon all day, 8-)

    Gotta get going, time for bed SOON, we need to be yanking ourselves around to the daylight hours for Canada trip after the 25th.

    "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

    by chimene on Sun Mar 17, 2013 at 11:54:27 PM PDT

    •  You've had extremely BAD (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bumbi, emmasnacker, cactusgal, weck, old wobbly


      The best is fresh picked (or recently picked), like the ones above, which are the baby asparagus stems before they fatten and get woody.  Most places harvest the asparagus too late.  Even then, it can be salvaged by peeling the stems to the tender core (a step most people skip because it is onerous to do).  Then lightly steamed until the tips are tender (the stem will still be slightly crunchy, although as thin-stemmed as this year's crop is, they will also be tender).  Add a spritz of lemon juice, and done.

      They also roast nicely.  Steam them until they are nearly tender, still a bit crisp, then spritz with seasoned butter or olive oil, for tiny asparagus like this, place in a grilling cage before placing on the grill, and grill until brown spots develop, or spread in a single layer on a lined baking sheet, set the oven to 400ºF, and heat for 6-10 minutes until brown spots form and the asparagus is fork tender.

      Spritz with a bit of lemon juice, or herb vinegar.

      The flavor is velvety feeling, and it has a wild brassica taste that's mild and almost tropical.

      All knowledge is worth having. Check out OctopodiCon to support steampunk learning and fun. Also, on DKos, check out the Itzl Alert Network.

      by Noddy on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 05:33:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  well, we've tried a couple of times from local (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Noddy, FloridaSNMOM

        organic grocers, which I would have thought was fairly fresh; and once from friends' own garden bed. I guess maybe we'll try again sometime. thanks for the descriptive parts...

        "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

        by chimene on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 11:14:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Even though I'm no asparagus fan, (8+ / 0-)

    just the thought of something fresh from the garden makes me smile.  The weekend was cold and blustery.  Today looks like a high of 39 with possible rain or snow.  The arthritis index is high (the scale has two higher settings, very high and extreme) and I slept very little.  I know I'm whining, but I am really over this wintery crap.

    I want flowering trees and irises and lilacs and.....  :-)

    -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

    by luckylizard on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 03:16:13 AM PDT

  •  Good morning everyone! (7+ / 0-)

    Rained here last night, we might get some more today. Supposed to be about 80 today.

    Looking forward to planting my pool gardens,  but in Chicago I don't plant anything until the middle of May. 2 months to go.

    Have a good one.

    I am a work in progress. Still.

    by broths on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 04:38:12 AM PDT

  •  Had to look it up, to see what it is in asparagus (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Noddy, bumbi, broths, cactusgal, weck, old wobbly

    that gives it that unique flavor.

    I thought it might be high in fat,
    like avocados,
    but no.

    I read several websites on it,
    but I like the cheerleader stance of this one:

    Nutrition Information   
    Asparagus is one of the most nutritionally well-balanced vegetables in existence. It leads nearly all produce items in the wide array of nutrients it supplies in significant amounts for a healthy diet.  

    I've not eaten it in a while,
    but my recollection is,
    it's one of those foods that simply hits he spot,
    for those who like it,
    as nothing else can do for you.

    I work at a Walmart,
    and it's one of those items,
    at least in the canned goods aisle,
    that are not low priced.

    This is probably one of those items that has a high profit margin.

    •  Good asparagus can only be harvested (6+ / 0-)

      during the growth phase, which, until they built special greenhouses to mimic the seasons, was only in spring.  Now they have greenhouses that they rotate through so they can stagger-plant asparagus and make it seem like spring in some while others are going through summer, fall, and winter phases, making asparagus an expensive year-round crop now.

      But those who home-grow it or grow it for a farmer's market, asparagus is only available for 3 - 4 weeks max in the spring, and the first shoots are the sweetest.  The later shoots are thicker, woodier, and stubbier.

      Asparagus is a fern, and can be a beautiful and striking plant in the garden.

      We generally eat the first asparagus with a chicken breast pounded flat, dipped in lemon juice, then seasoned flour and braised, a serving of freshly steamed asparagus spritzed with lemon, and tiny Red Bliss new potatoes, and a salad of wild greens (dandelion leaves, wild lettuce, miner's lettuce, oxalis, wild violets, redbuds) dressed in an herbal vinaigrette, and finished off with a creamy lemon pie.

      All knowledge is worth having. Check out OctopodiCon to support steampunk learning and fun. Also, on DKos, check out the Itzl Alert Network.

      by Noddy on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 05:45:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Wow, Noddy, that sounds delicious! Creamy (5+ / 0-)

        lemon pie recipe?
        Feel like temp of 18, here, I love the cold and dread
        extreme heat of July/August. Love the summer
        produce but hate the heat!

        "The devil laughs when the poor give to the rich," Benvenuto Cellini, goldsmith, sculptor 1500-1571

        by bumbi on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 06:22:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's a forbidden recipe (5+ / 0-)

          but it's been in the family for ages.

          You have to use Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk - we've tried other brands and there's just something in the processing of Eagle Brand that makes a substantial difference in the finished product.

          You need:

          1 can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
          1/3 - 1/2 cup lemon juice (fresh squeezed)
          3 egg whites
          1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
          1 graham cracker crust

          Beat the lemon juice into the milk.

          Whip the egg whites with the cream of tartar until stiff, nearly dry, peaks form.

          Fold the whites carefully into the milk mix.

          Pour into a prepared graham cracker crust and chill until set.

          We usually eat it plain, but fruit syrups or whipped cream can be added to it.

          All knowledge is worth having. Check out OctopodiCon to support steampunk learning and fun. Also, on DKos, check out the Itzl Alert Network.

          by Noddy on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 06:32:56 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Not a big asparagus fan (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cactusgal, Noddy, weck, broths, old wobbly

    But from the sounds of it I've only ever had BAD asparagus as well so who knows. If I ever find the good stuff will have to try it. The only way I've ever seen it was canned (but I admit I wasn't looking very hard either).
    Still hurting today but not quite as fogged. Still having some focusing issues however. I think I can get the school work done with the kids. I have Bit's written up for the week (4th grade so easier than my son's), and I have Draco's ready for today. So if I have to I can put off doing the rest of his until tomorrow, though I'd like to stay at least a day ahead. Today, the Battle of Somme, Algebra, and computer programming. Tomorrow Algebra, Biology and reading. He's got the concept of word roots and such, and I'm running out of new ones to teach him, at least common ones. Now to work on generalizing that and see if he can associate a word root in one word with one in another word.

    "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

    by FloridaSNMOM on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 06:52:10 AM PDT

  •  Mr. C is out of town on biz, and yesterday I (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Noddy, FloridaSNMOM, weck, broths, old wobbly

    cooked all day and froze a lot of meals.  Then I fixed myself a big pot of fresh green beans, with onions & little chunks of ham, and ate every bit of it, with sliced, vine-ripened tomatoes.

    Then I groomed all 3 dogs, watched Walking Dead on TV, went to bed and read.

    It's early here, but that asparagus is making me hungry!

    Have a great day everybody!

  •  YUM (6+ / 0-)

    DSL issues this morning. I hope everyone has a better day than mine is shaping up to be.

    -7.75, -8.10; . . . Seneca Falls, Selma and Stonewall (h/t cooper888)

    by Dave in Northridge on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 07:48:17 AM PDT

  •  This will be the first year I can cut my asparagus (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Noddy, broths, old wobbly, FloridaSNMOM

    at will, this is the third year of the planting.  I was so surprised  at how well these plants took, the last two times I tried, I didn't get results.

    If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever. &

    by weck on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 08:09:13 AM PDT

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