Wednesday, February 29, 2012

the best way to trim asparagus [what-mom-taught-me wednesday]

rare is the occasion when i cook something without thinking of my mother in one way or another.

with every movement through the kitchen, every stir of the spoon, i hear her voice, telling me what she is doing and why, as a much younger me watches or helps her cook for her husband, eight children, and whatever friends and family might be in the house at that moment.

so.. each week i will try to highlight a lesson whose source i otherwise may have forgotten... things i am grateful my mother taught me about cooking.

what-mom-taught-me wednesday #3: how to trim asparagus - quick, easy, and o-so-satisfying!

you have a bunch or two of asparagus in front of you.

the bottoms are white, tough, and dry... so you need to trim them. 

you could take a knife to the whole pile and slice an inch or two inches or three inches off the bottom... but then you end up taking too much off of some (no, come back, precious green deliciousness!!) and leaving others with tough, woody stalks that your guests now have to either attempt to swallow and choke on or delicately place into their napkins when you aren't looking.

so... that method? no good.

you could take a knife to each individual stalk and cut off the bottom where it starts to look pale and thick and tough, but let's face it- one of the reasons you bought this asparagus is because it cooks up quickly and you just don't have all day! 

my mom saw me doing it this way once, slicing off the bottoms of each individual stalk, and showed me the right path... ready?

simply grasp the tough bottom of the stalk with one hand, and firmly grip the tender green stalk about midway up with your other hand, and bend... snap! the asparagus will break at the exact right spot, right where tough and tender meet.

you will quickly gain a rhythm with this method, and find it both quick, and satisfying, to snap away all that tough no-goodness. the task will be done in no time!

stay tuned (or join this site with the button on the right) to see what i made with this asparagus.. so good!

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