Monday, 2 April 2012

One Man And His Asparagus

As of late, I have been getting quite excited by a peculiar, protruding, purple head that has appeared at the bottom of my garden, peering out of a raised bed. I've been visiting it daily, more or less. Crouching down with elbows on knees and palms on face, I've spent the last couple of weeks staring at it, monitoring it's progress. It's arrival has been quite early, especially for this time of year but the routine has been quite pleasant really. Taking the time to just sit still and quietly meditate, with the sun gently warming my back. Once or twice, I have even cupped my ear close, to see if I can actually hear it grow. Get me, the hairless hippy. Occasionally, I have even taken a tape measure down there. Not that I've been keeping a written record or anything. No, it's just so that I can make a rough calculation in my head, to roughly work out when it will be good for harvesting, when I can slip a blade in just below the soil to sever the beauty before plunging it quickly into a bath of seething water. For no longer than 30 seconds.

So yes, I have been savouring it for some time and yesterday, when no-one was around, I took the plunge. After all that protraction, really I should have eaten it unadulterated, plain, honest, raw and pure. But I decided an egg was called for, a soft boiled Burford Brown, a small nod at luxury. Dipping the head in, now feathered and green, floods the deep yellow yolk up to the surface. The caldera overspills and gooey spider arms run down the shell and cup. I pause and eye the stalk, glistening and effulgent. Then down the hatch it goes. The umami rich, viscous taste of the egg hits first but soon gives way to delicate, fresh, perfect bite of sweetness. And in that moment, I am reminded that this beautiful, elegant, vegetable, when taken straight from ground and eaten straight away, takes some beating.

Later in the evening, a visit to the bathroom is interrupted by a creaking door and a small, enquiring, crinkled nose and the secret comes out.

"Daddy, what is that smell?"

And that's when I am in trouble. Because my wife had her eye on that asparagus too. Thank gawd there's more to come.



12 comments:

Dom at Belleau Kitchen said...

Men staring at purple heads is wrong... Measuring them is downright kinky!

Miss Whiplash said...

I have been singing the asparagus song (to the tune of 'Camelot' for some weeks now.
If you'd like me to come and sing it in your garden to encourage growth, my rates are extremely reasonable...

Platter said...

"Protruding purple head".... "on all fours."

PHWOAR!

Lovely way to serve the asparagus tho, so simple, so refined.

Food Urchin said...

Dom - Is it? I don't know, I would have thought you'd be well behind me on that one (metaphorically speaking)

Miss Whiplash - Really? How much? Do you accept payment in asparagus?

Platter - Not you as well!

Miss Whiplash said...

Payment in asparagus is my Actual Favourite Kind :-)

Niamh said...

Love it :)

Do save some for your poor missus next time though.

x

gi_nav said...

You are a saucy devil but I love your wordsmithery!

Food Urchin said...

Miss Whiplash - then it's a deal (what's my refund if it doesn't work?)

Niamh - I think perhaps the next 5 or 6 spears are going to Mrs FU ; )

gi_nav - wordsmithery! Wow, thanks G

Craftilicious said...

Well you had to eat it, to save it from the snow obviously ;-)

Shu Han said...

haha, great use for that one lone asparagus. i still get amused at how everybody in the uk seem to go abit bonkers for asparagus.

Susan said...

Ah, the asparagus pee. Or the 'smell of the guilty,' as I sometimes call it. Distinctive, unmistakeable, and damning. Well, the truth will out, like a thousand tiny purple mouths calling for retribution.

Paunchos said...

Suitably phallic. And good use of a very fertile egg as well. Unbelievably excited about the onset of the asparagus season. Our bed should be in full spate this year. Smelly times ahead.