May 6, 2010

A Pocketful of Asparagus

Once last Spring I was talking to Adriane (the same friend-and-fellow-vegetable-enthusiast who pointed me in the direction of February's Beet Tart). She was up in her garden and had just picked a "pocketful of asparagus." Doesn't that sound simply elegant?

Growing up asparagus was a "special" food (Mom has many of these... "Don't just eat that! It's special.") It was an impressive side she served to guests - but also one of the few foods she would allow us to eat with our fingers. I'm intrigued by this vegetable that can be so fancy, and yet so at home wrapped casually in a bandana and peeking out of a pocket.

That tension was what drove this painting (and that cute vintage hankie I recently found.) Some new tubes of watercolor drove my overeager use of greens... Live and learn...

Sadly, I don't have a photo of this one to share, but my favorite asparagus dish this month was the simplest. Steamed and drizzled with:

Aunt Sue's Dressing for Vegetables
2-3 T. butter
1 T. Dijon mustard (I can't help myself - I use twice that!)
1 1/2 t. lemon juice
1/4 t. salt
1 t. sugar
Melt the butter and combine all ingredients. Serve over cooked vegetables.

We prepared it with my sister, Meg, when she was visiting - it is for special guests, after all - and ate it alongside some broiled salmon and potato pancakes. (Potatoes are a must when Meg is involved.)

Occasionally, I find good things come out of my lack of timeliness. For instance, Asparagus is the April Vegetable of the Month, but if I had posted in April I wouldn't have been able to share with you these photos of Adriane's Asparagus:2010 - growing in her garden this May!


  1. That painting is much more vibrant and interesting than the photo conveys. And I need to say that a certain Asparagus Risoto that failed to make Kate's blog deserves mentioning: it was off the chain.


  2. Great post. I especially love the photos of asparagus in the garden. Their little heads poking up out of that gorgeous dirt remind me of children somehow, wide-eyed and strong and tender.

  3. Yes, those garden asparagus photos are precious. And your painting continues to amaze, Kate!

  4. I had NO IDEA we were allowed to eat asparagus with our hands! i thought i was just being sneaky...


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