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                Sunday Family

Springtime and Asparagus

It is one of the first vegetable crops of the year in Eastern Ontario Canada

There a lots of ways to prepare this wonderful vegetable - but don't overcook it. 
Then just add fresh butter and season with salt and pepper and you are in heaven.

Saucepan or Steamer: Cook fresh asparagus in a small amount of boiling water until tender.
Fresh asparagus will be crisp-tender in 5 to 8 minutes.

Frying Pan:
Place a strip of folded aluminum on the bottom and up the sides of the pan, extending over the edges. Bring water to a boil; add asparagus spears and cook, uncovered, until crisp-tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Use foil strips to gently lift the spears to a serving dish.

Double Boiler or Percolator:
To steam asparagus in an upright position, fasten the stalks into a bundle using a band of foil or string. Stand the stalks upright in the double boiler or percolator with the tips extending an inch or more above the boiling, salted water.
(A glass cooking vessel works best.) Cover and cook until tender, 5 to 8 minutes.

Cut spears diagonally in 1/2 inch pieces, leaving tips whole. Stir-fry pieces in butter or hot oil, in a skillet or wok at medium high heat. Stir constantly until tender-crisp, 3 to 5 minutes.

Microwave fresh asparagus by placing one pound in a microwavable baking dish or serving bowl. If cooking whole spears, arrange with tips in center. Add about 1/4 cup water and cover tightly. Microwave at 100% power for 4 to 7 minutes for spears, 3 to 5 minutes for cuts and tips. Stir or turn halfway through cooking time.

Eating Asparagus:

At a formal dinner, it is best to use  a fork and knife to eat asparagus. Cut one bite at a time. Individual asparagus tongs are used at formal dinners. In a more casual setting, eating asparagus as a finger food is acceptable. If the asparagus has a butter sauce, hold over the serving platter, allowing it to drain before placing it onto your plate. A large flat server such as a pierced asparagus server or hooded asparagus server is ideal for moving the pieces from the platter to your plate.

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