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Wednesday, 24 March 2010
It's asparagus time!
We went off on a walk to our post office today. It was the first day of the year on which we went out of the door, walked a few metres, and then decided, there was no need for a jacket at all!
Anyway I had already decided that dinner was going to be a risotto involving some of our leek and some borage I was going to pick on the way to the post office. On the way back we decided to take the more scenic route, over the mountain, through the woods and past the old castle ruin.
In previous years I've always kind of missed the boat. Gathering asparagus is a very popular past time here, and if you don't get up early enough, they will literally all be snapped up before you realise the season has begun. So they must have just produced their long shoots a couple of days ago.
To the untrained eye, asparagus isn't that easy to spot. The trick is, you start looking for the weed weeks before the season starts and memorise where you've seen them.
The weed is much easier to spot. Once you've seen a few you start looking around for the shoots. They can be quite a distance from the rest of the plant. They grow very long and wind themselves around other plants. Of course wild asparagus is much thinner than the commercial variety, but no less tasty!.
The outstretched tongue is for those of our greedy neighbours I've beaten to the first harvest this year and to a certain so-and-so, who tried to make me jealous yesterday with boasting about her asparagus meal (she'll know who I'm talking about... :-)).
I should've maybe not mentioned this in my blog at all lest I trigger a stampede into the woods in the next couple of days, but I think most of our neighbours have already cottoned on to the fact that it's asparagus season. On our way out of the woods we met an elderly couple with baskets heading into the woods. And as we approached the village we bumped into Bruno, who asked me if we had found any asparagus, despite the fact that I had disguised them in a non-see-through plastic bag. Can't keep anything a secret here for long!
Here's a funny gnawed tree we saw on our walk, which no doubt will fall over soon.
... and on our land, after the almond and plum trees, now the peaches in flower.