Sweet Talk and a Bit About Asparagus

First the sweet talk, then we’ll get into the Asparagus.

The FarmGirl Cooks… after she washes her hands ūüėČ

Last¬†Sunday was¬†Mother’s Day, and since that pretty much defines me as a person, I should make note of it.

Sure, it’s been¬†a while… but forgive me, please.¬†¬†Mother’s Day¬†happens to fall smack dab in the middle of busy planting season and, except for the¬†lovingly handmade gifts from my son, the day went by without much fanfare.¬†¬†The fruit of my womb bought me a fan with his own hard-earned money the last time his dad took him to Chinatown.¬† He thinks it may help with the hot flashes.¬† Way to be considerate, my sweet nugget of love!

I don’t think I was ‘born’ a mom.¬† In fact, for the longest time I didn’t even want to BE a mom… EVER.¬† I went so far as to keep a newspaper clipping in my wallet, the article¬†listing reasons why¬†people don’t want children and how¬†they¬†should respond to those who question them.

 

Who would’ve guessed I’d end up becoming ‘that mom’?

I’m the mom who wakes up and cooks her baby a hot breakfast nearly every morning (homemade crepes with nutella are his favorite), then makes him a healthy-ish lunch that¬†often includes a homemade sweet treat and on occasion, a love note from Mommy.

Thomas blushes when he comes home from school and thanks me.

I’m the mom who serves candlelit dinners with Fresca in champagne flutes when I know my sweet boy has had a rough day.¬†¬†I’m the mom who listens to his fears and wipes his tears, then tells him (in the nicest possible way) to suck it up and move on.¬† Such is life… and it ain’t easy for any of us.

He’s the driving force behind everything I do, but that doesn’ t mean I coddle him.¬† In fact, I’ve been told I’m a real ‘hard ass’ mom.¬† I’m ok with that.¬† I remind Thomas after we’ve ‘had words’ that my job is to raise a healthy, responsible, hard-working and self-reliant adult.¬† I’d LOVE for him to be happy as well, and I’ll do my part to help, ¬†but mostly, that is up to him.

We’ve gotten to the point where he doesn’t want me anywhere near him when he gets on the school bus.¬† Funny as hell, The Boy walks 50 ft away from me as the bus nears¬†our stop¬†in the morning.¬† Prior to that though, when no one is watching and¬†we’re walking to the bus stop, arms swinging gently, our hands will magically find one another as if by magnetic force.

No discussion is necessary, just the familiar, loving, secure hand-holding that we’ve both come to love so much.

You know how kids have growth spurts and seem to shoot up inches overnight?


We all know that’s an exaggeration.¬† But for asparagus, it’s absolutely possible for this tender stalk to grow several inches over the course of a day.

Asparagus, that classic spring vegetable, is an investment that will repay you over and over if you give it some time.  It takes a few years to really develop a decent crop, though.

The asparagus crowns/roots look like a dirty brown scraggly octopus.¬† They are planted in a trench about 12-inches deep atop a¬†small mound of dirt.¬† You want the crown just sticking out of the ground (“crowning”, if you will***)¬†and the ‘tentacles’ need to trail down the mound.¬†¬†¬†The trench is filled in and as the crown grows, you cover it up with more soil.¬†¬† Within a few years, you’ll have an abundance of stalks to cut almost daily.

When the weather starts to warm, the robins flit around scoping out the heartiest earthworms¬†and the springtime sun surprises you by¬†hanging around past dinner,¬†you’ll see the purple tips peeking out of the asparagus bed.¬† They almost look like little¬†artichokes at first, but soon the green stem lengthens.

Another one pops out of the ground, then another and another, until finally you¬†have a forest of stalks and enough asparagus for your family to indulge day after day.¬† Eventually you’ll¬†tire of it, but you’ll still eat it like mad because you know¬†that the final cutting will soon occur and you’ll be at nature’s mercy yet again.

You can rest assured that as delicious as asparagus is, it’s also nutritious.¬† A serving of it will give you almost half the recommended daily¬†intake of folic acid (essential for baby development, women’s health, etc).

Options abound when it comes to¬†preparing asparagus.¬† Grill, roast, steam, saute…. EVOO, salt and pepper are all you need to make this veggie sing.¬† It’s¬†terrific with pasta, with eggs, in¬†risotto, with mushrooms or crepes (hello, ham and cheese… meet asparagus) or even raw in a slaw.

I cut 8 spears the other day from the patch behind Mom’s house.¬†¬† By the time I made it through the barn, checked¬†and watered two greenhouses and slipped off my dirty farm shoes by¬†the back door,¬†I had eaten all 8 spears raw…¬† So much for¬†any dinner plan!

But that’s ok, since tomorrow (and the day after and the day after that…) there will be more.¬† And if I happen to miss a day of cutting, I can be certain¬†I’ll find¬†a repurposed yellow plastic Shop Rite bag with a handful of spears¬†hanging from the back door.

Thanks, Daddy!

 

 

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