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February 21, 2007


Lynn D.

This is the second time that you and I have been reading the same cookbooks and you notice and make something delicious that just doesn't register with me at all. (The first book was Please to the Table). Despite our many similar tastes, you are just a much better cook and cookbook reader than I am, which is why I enjoy your blog so much. We have been enjoying lots of lovely asparagus in Oregon, probably now from California but soon from Washington. It seems to be the only thing that didn't get hit by the big freeze.


I think there is some compound in asparagus that reacts badly with wine, but I can't be arsed to google what it is.

So....your palate is sound!


Don't fret over the copper saucepan. I have one (inherited) and never use it because it is just too damn heavy. It's way heavier than my cast-iron frypan.

I thought I would finally get use out of it with its being the perfect size for no-knead bread but then the French manufacturer told me high heat would ruin the tin lining.
( http://kittbo.blogspot.com/2006/12/no-knead-bread-step-by-step.html )


(My favorite one-use implement: the avocado slicer.)

Love your blog!


I think I don't have anything against unipurpose kitchen equipment on principle, but I have to have unwavering certainty that I will use it frequently before I let myself buy it. Most of that comes from sheer necessity - I simply don't have the space to devote to semi-useless things. I'm sure I could find space for some cannele molds, however, if only they wouldn't eat such a hole in my paycheck...


Isn't it just crazy how produce just hops into our shopping carts from time to time? I once had a smoked ham hock do that...

Louise in Maryland

We almost never buy asparagus, we pick each spear from the garden individually by letting it snap where it wants to, thus it needs no peeling. I have peeled purchased asparagus with a paring knife a few times. In theory i would have far fewer kitchen tools than I do, but this is not a theoretical world.


I've always loved that a spoon off my table will peel ginger better than any gadget I've seen. I'm very happy with any gadget that does the job it says it will AND I need that job done. I've always been happy with putting the veggie peeler to my asparagus. So you think the real deal maybe worth the space but only maybe the money. I don't see a free one in my future.
Loved your digression!


As Lynn noted, it will be asparagus season in Washington before too long. Hooray! (My stomach growled just thinking about it.) And, oh, how I look forward to making this recipe (with the extra lemon juice and pepper, but no salt, so that Paul can share it with me).


Silly Lynn-I rummaged in this book many times before I noticed the recipe....and who was the person who got me all worked up about goat milk (Which, by the way, I still am)?
Lynn, Kimberly-lucky ones! A person only gets local asparagus here if they grow it themselves..as Louise does.
Louise in Maryland-I so envy you. I am an apartment dweller with no garden-it's California asparagus all the way. I'm not sure why my CSA farmer doesn't grow it...unless the soil in Zelionople is like our city (Pittsburgh) soil, so clay-e you could make crockery out of it
Tanna- great ginger peeling tip, I've a;ready tried it and it works a treat!
ann- and they say pigs can't fly!
Say Kitt, Ya wanna get rid of that burdensome, heavy pan? ;)
Melissa-so right. I'll bet if someone ran a contest with a set of those copper canele molds for a prize, bloggers would tumble over ourselves trying to win them. But maybe I'm projecting?
Heath-Must say, I've never been accused of having any sort of good palate for wine.I'm kind of a blunt instrument (tool?) where wine is concerned. I love my gulpables (and drink a lot of em), and swooned over the few tastes of really amazing stuff I've been offered- but as to the huge middle ground-I'm useless.


I think that a standard vegetable peeler works just fine on asparagus. You just use a very light pressure where you're beginning to peel and heavier pressure as you move towards the woodier base of the stalk.

But I don't think there's anything wrong with cutting or snapping the bottom off, either. If you're worried about waste, you can make soup with the parts you discard. A food mill is very helpful here, obviously.

I have a very heavy, ten-inch (or so -- I'm sure it's metric) French copper saucepan that I got from some good friends as a wedding gift. Alas, it came without any care instructions, and I was so clueless that I'd destroyed the tin lining after a very few uses and washes. I spent almost $70 back in the early 90s getting it retinned, and ever since, I've been afraid to use it. It does conduct heat marvelously, and it's drop-dead gorgeous, but I would probably never buy one for myself. I can only imagine what one would cost these days.


I totally agree that asparagus should be peeled, but have always just used my Oxo peeler; are you saying that better peeling will mean not having to snap such a big piece off the bottom of the stalks? I've sometimes wondered about that, because it does seem like a lot gets wasted. And I do wish it were easier to find nice fat asparagus instead of all the skinny ones that are really only fit for slicing up and stir-frying or making into soup.


Another delightful read! Thanks for the smile. But now I am desperately craving asparagus (and I'm afraid Cary might have seriously damaged my bed of it last year. . .)


Having grown up in Montana I was fortunate enough to go "hunting" for Morels after every spring rain. It has become big business these days. Do you ever get to cook with fresh Morels?


Alas no, jon. Every once in a while, they have them in the supermarket or at Whole Foods, but they cost the Whole Earth when they do! I've had fresh chanterelles, and the fresh trumpet mushrooms are affordable now. I know chanterelles grow around here, but I'd need some expert advice if I were to go looking!


Wow! Great info. I wish, I could have such a writing skills. I am going to try tommorrow.


Just wanted to let you know that your post is featured on BlogHer today! ~ AK

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