Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Are you casting asparagus on my cooking?
Now the patience part comes into play. The first year you must restrain yourselves from picking any of those wonderful green stalks. The second year, only pick one third of them. But on the third year, you can go hog wild and pick to your heart's content. I guarantee, you'll get sick of the stuff before you exhaust your supply
To care for the plants, we lay newspaper down in the spring to keep out the weeds, then cover it with composted manure. Leave the plants until the fall, then cut back the foliage. But I like to keep them well into winter, because they look pretty in the frost. Don't cut them back to soon, because the foliage strengthens the plants, just like tulips and daffodils.
Our favorite way to prepare it, is to simply drizzle olive oil over the stalks and sprinkle them with our own herbes de provence (garlic powder and rosemary will do in a pinch) and salt. Roast in a hot oven, or even better grill them until they are tender.
Spent a pleasant afternoon yesterday, canning fourteen pints up. To can asparagus, clean the stalks and cut them into desired size. In large pot, cover the asparagus with water and bring to a boil; simmer 10 minutes. Pack into hot sterilized pint jars, adding 1/2 tsp. salt to each jar. Wipe down the rims and place sterilized lids on; screw on the rings. Process for thirty minutes at ten pound of pressure. Easy peasy!