Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Spring Field Crops.....ASPARAGUS!!

Quick the pics: Ben adding some more onions to our rows, baby bok choy growing and our GARLIC PATCH doing wonderful! These pics taken today, one hour ago!
Spring planting is in full swing! Most of our lettuce, asian greens and onions are in the ground. We are being careful regarding beets, carrots, peas and spinach as we have learned first hand that if we get carried away the weeds will carry us away!! Ben is adimate we don't jump the gun with some direct seeding, as after this nice rain shower we had, tiny weeds are emerging, SOO he will probably cultivate again to kill them off, THEN direct seed out more crops, weather will be warmer a bit later and crops will grow faster and keep ahead of the weeds a tad. Regardless, I have convinced him to plant early potatoes! We sprouted some early ones in the barn and if we plant shortly by the time they emerge the fear of frost will have passed by (I hate saying that out loud - you never know and coming from a farm family I hear the elders talk about 'remember the killing frost in 1960'S? Wasnt' it June 1st?) Our garlic patch is awesome! We picked some nice fertile groud and it shows! I already know we didn't plant enough to share and sell as I want to build up this crop so a large percentage will be saved for seed.

The news this week for Dufferin: Got a call this morning from a local organic farmer friend who we buy 2 crops from to share, and 1 is now available - ASPARAGUS is here! As soon as I got off the phone with him I started thinking about recipes. Man, I love raw asparagus, but if you steam some gently, DO NOT MAKE MUSH, add them to THIS:

Poached Eggs on Aspargus & Toast with homemade Hollandaise:

Make toast first, two slices on each plate for hungy folks. Use Rye or another crispy 'hard' toast, as soggy crappy 'white' bread will ruin everything. I LOVE using the market's ROSEMARY bread for this! Any good grainery, hearty bread will be perfect, toasted tough as you need to 'absorb' flavours and sop up the sauce later on! Don't butter it, the Hollandaise has all the artery clogging goodness you need for one breakfast/lunch, trust me!!! Now add some gently steamed asparagus on top of your toast. As many spears as desired. (If you don't know how to 'steam' please 'google'. Not enough time for everything here.) Poach your eggs and add one to each toast and asparagus. (*To poach, slip your eggs into gently simmering water and cook for about 5 minutes or so, you just have to practice as it's easy to overcook and they do tend to break if you cook with more rapid water.) Now I am a master at breakfast and lots of meals in general, no lie, so I multitask constantly, so my hollandaise would be done by now. Yes, I'll brag. I farm, I can multitask like a son of a bitch! ANYHOW: Hollandaise is easy. Just take care, wisk like hell, and do not OVERHEAT it or it will separate!! Gently heat 1/2 cups of butter on stove top (I have no microwave, and stove top is best to 'work' with your food, so none of my recipes will include shortcuts with a microwave.) In a small bowl wisk 3 egg yolks with 1 tbs. of lemon juice, a pinch of salt and cayenne pepper and a dash of dry mustard. Slowly add the butter. I mean slow, while constantly wisking. Pour sauce back into stovetop butter pot and heat through but LOW HEAT to thicken while constantly wisking. Did I mention to constantly wisk? Wrist hurt? Sucky ass. Don't worry, the meal will taste soo good I am sure your wrist will assist to rasie your fork to your mouth. If you get it too hot or boiling it will separate and be a mess. It goes a nice thick yellow and is ready to go! Pour generously ontop your eggs, toast and aparagus! YUM! Spring crops are HERE!!!! An abundance of Spring Asparagus is around the corner!