A quick note today, as the girls and I are off to central New York to pick up a load of seed potatoes – a job that offers a nice excuse to spend the weekend with my parents. Here, asparagus harvest is in full swing. What a strange plant. It is like a priapic alien, prodding its way out of the cold ground before the earthling plants are awake. The stalks we eat are the plants’ first shoots. After a few weeks we stop harvesting and let the plants grow up into their adult selves, which are just as strange but very different from the shoots: enormous frondy things that grow and grow until you think they can’t get any bigger. They bear little poisonous red berries, but their main job is to gather energy underground for next spring.
In the kitchen, I love asparagus simply steamed or sautéed in butter. If we have an abundance I like to puree it with olive oil, garlic and herbs and use it as a topping for crostini. I’m also a sucker for asparagus soup, an easy luxury. My simple method is to sauté an onion in butter, add asparagus, salt and pepper, and chicken stock. Simmer until the asparagus is very tender, then hit it with an immersion blender until it is smooth. To finish, stir in cream or yogurt (or the creamy top of a yogurt, mmmm). That plus good bread and voila, you’ve got a meal.
Peak Milk Quality
The cows are binging on the lush spring grass. The quality of the milk is at its annual peak. Quantity is up too, by about 30% since they went outside. The biggest gainer is a nervous little cow called Juniper, daughter of June, granddaughter of our original Delia… (Continue reading this Essex Farm Note)
- Essex Farm (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Vintage Stereoview: View of Essex from North (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Full and By Farm CSA in Essex, NY (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Crystal Spring Farm (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)