Asparagus

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One of the perks of being a spring baby, apart from the fact you get to pretend each year that the world has turned blue just for you (saw my first bluebells today), is all the fabulous foods you could eat for a birthday meal such as salmon, new potatoes, asparagus, peas – all which taste wonderful with a bit of butter.

But butter is off the menu for me at the moment, which makes me wonder what to do with asparagus.

Asparagus is one of the best things about May. Growing up in Worcestershire it was a common sight to see small stalls outside (mainly farm) gates with an honesty box and a price of 50p a bundle. I was very surprised later to discover it was considered a bit “posh”. I haven’t always loved “Sparrowgrass” though…it used to be on the (small) list of foods I didn’t eat having encounted it tinned at the age of 6. But now I am crazy about the stuff and am already on the hunt for the first local source.

Asparagus is the first chapter in Tender but I don’t think I will be growing it as I don’t have enough space in the garden and its a lot of hassle when its just me that eats the stuff. Also I doubt I will be doing many of the recipes from this section as they all involve “fat” in some form (soft cheese, bacon/pancetta, butter etc). There is quite a healthy looking pilaf though…and there is always soup, dipping it in a soft boiled egg, roasting.

I’m afraid my family will just have to put up with the fact that my pee smells a bit strange because, despite my self-imposed butter ban I am looking forward to eating fields of the stuff. Bring on the spring !